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Around The World: March 8

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    March 8 Video: Trail Blazers 94, Timberwolves 106 Video: Nate McMillan Post-Game Interview Video: Elliot Williams: Checkmate!

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Open Road Trip With Loss At Minnesota
    "Aldridge finished with 22 points and seven rebounds while Wallace nearly notched a triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Wesley Matthews led the Trail Blazers reserves with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting off the bench."

    Oregon Live: Sinking ship that is Trail Blazers starts seven-game trip with 106-94 loss to Minnesota Timberwolves
    “The ship hasn’t gotten away from us yet,” Matthews said. “It hasn’t sunk yet.”

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers pregame: A guarded coach and a bottled up All-Star
    “They’ll be some opportunities for him to drive the ball,” McMillan said. “We’ve got to set some screens to get him deep. And then attack. If you have two guys double teaming you, you’ve got to make the right read. There are going to be some times where maybe we can get him deep before the double team can get there. We can’t just give in to a team that’s double-teaming and not respecting him.”

    Portland Tribune: Same old song – Kevin Love, Timberwolves roll
    “We missed some open looks; you have to knock down those shots,” McMillan said. “Until you do, the defense is going to continue to try to take the ball out of LaMarcus’ hands and make our perimeter guys make shots.”

    Rip City Project: Game 39 Recap: Blazers 94, Wolves 106
    "In many ways, this team is an experiment. An experiment that began three seasons ago when Portland started losing players to injury at such an unbelievable clip that the only explanation was some kind of curse, or–in an effort to sound like an informed person and not a lady with a crystal ball reading fortunes for a dollar apiece–the “injury bug.” Blazer brass decided way back then that instead of starting over from scratch, it made sense to find a guy to fill a gap here (Marcus Camby), or a guy to fill a gap there (Andre Miller), and another guy to take this position over here (Wesley Matthews, Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford, Kurt Thomas)."

    Blazersedge: Blazers 94, Timberwolves 106: Portland Drowns in a Sea of Love
    "It's funny how basketball is contagious. Felton authored the first-half spurts that caught the Blazers on fire. He couldn't miss and suddenly nobody else could either. It made the Timberwolves look a step late on everything. Then Crawford began bricking, everybody else tried to make up for it from the perimeter, and suddenly everything came outside and contested. Meanwhile the Blazer wings were running afoul of screens while the bigs just shrugged and all of a sudden Portland's defense looked ponderous while the 'Wolves couldn't miss. Felton, Crawford, and Aldridge were the main actors on offense. The guards and Nicolas Batum (to the good) were in the spotlight on defense. Everybody else rode the tide whichever way it flowed. The point is, this is a five-man game. If all five guys don't play whoever puts the hole in the boat will eventually end up sinking everybody."

    CBS: Trade Rumblings
    "The Trail Blazers have been among the most active teams, seeking to move Jamal Crawford and acquire a big man -- either in the same or separate deals. The asking price for Crawford, however, includes a first-round pick in addition to Luke Ridnour (Timberwolves) or Eric Bledsoe (Clippers). Depending on what point guard the Blazers can bring back in a deal, they'd also be in a position to put Raymond Felton out of his misery. Felton's up-tempo style and Nate McMillan's deliberate offense clearly are not fitting together. "They've got to make major changes," one executive said."

    Bulls: Will Hamilton return to the same Bulls team?
    "Jamal Crawford: Still another former Bull whom the Bulls did look at as well before he signed with Portland. But things have not gone well there and he likely can be had now. Although he’s having a poor season shooting 40 percent overall, he is a big shot maker and can handle the ball and make plays. I don’t see what the Bulls have the Trailblazers would want. After all, they’re not a team that rebuilds with draft picks. Could you talk them into Watson, Jimmy Butler and a No. 1? Perhaps, assuming you’d give that much up for a short rental. I think Portland ends up doing better if they trade Crawford."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Kyrie Irving makes a rare coast-to-coast game-winner
    "The Nuggets couldn't convert at the other end, and so Irving's great play cinched the win. What's perhaps most impressive about this play is that it wasn't just a matter of Irving blowing by Afflalo. It's a tough drive, with physical defense from a top-notch defender and an off-balance finish at the rim. It's the play of a man, not a 19-year-old kid who was supposed to struggle in a lockout-shortened rookie season. Let this be the clearest sign yet that Irving is a star."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Nick Young goes over the backboard on a wide-open layup ‘attempt’
    "It's one thing to not be able to "get rim" on a shot. But to not get backboard, on a one-on-none layup? Good thing the Wizards came back to shock the Lakers in a win that was as startling as this miss."

    Ball Don't Lie: With Kobe Bryant firing away, Pau Gasol addresses Los Angeles’ ‘selfishness’
    "This is a problem. We hold the Lakers up for a more strident brand of criticism because, frankly, they're smarter than most teams. And they lost on Wednesday to perhaps the least-cerebral NBA team we've seen in decades of watching the game. Kobe Bryant watches more tape than any player in this league. Pau Gasol knows this game (literally and figuratively) inside and out. Mike Brown is absolutely obsessed with going over film and finding statistical quirks to take advantage of. And yet, the Lakers are 23-16, and 15th in the NBA in offense. Let that swirl for a bit -- a team featuring the league's leading scorer paired with perhaps the NBA's two most effortless low post scorers is mediocre offensively. No amount of arguing away the gaping holes at the point guard and small forward spots can make this any better. There's no reason the Lakers should be this poor, 39 games into a season."

    The Basketball Jones via The AP: Al Jefferson makes a profound basketball discovery
    “Hey, it’s taken me eight years to realize that if I pass the ball outside and guys hit open shots, it helps free me up,” Jefferson. “I guess better late than never.”

    The Basketball Jones: Best game-winner?: Kyrie vs. Farmar vs. Rose vs. the Kings
    "That’s right — Kyrie Irving says he teammates willed in his game-winning shot despite the fact he was the only one who touched the ball on the entire possession. Makes all the sense in the world, and then some. I’d almost consider voting for him just because that statement is so hilariously over-humble. Sure Kyrie, it was definitely Samardo Samuels’ brain who made that go in."

    SLAM via ESPN: Blazers More Open to Moving Gerald Wallace
    "The Blazers balked a bit at moving Wallace at the start of the season, but they seem more open to it now. Nicolas Batum is their long-term answer at the small forward position, and they aren’t really competing for a title.”

    SLAM via The AP: Zach Randolph Targeting Tuesday Return
    “Grizzlies PF Zach Randolph, out with a torn ligament in his right knee since Jan. 1, is participating in practice again. Hollins said Randolph will play again when ‘he’s ready,’ but it appears the forward won’t return until at least Tuesday when the Grizzlies return home against the Lakers.”

    ESPN: Hollinger: Expect Wesley Matthews Trade Conversations
    "The Blazers will move pretty much anybody except Aldridge and Batum, and they might even move Batum if the right Canadian point guard came along. So yes, expect conversations involving Wallace, Felton, Crawford, Camby and Matthews. "

    ESPN: Take it or leave it: Rajon Rondo.
    "Take it. I can't believe the assassination of Rondo's ability in the public eye the past year. Maybe the Big Three in Boston made Rondo who he is, but now Rondo makes the Celtics go more than any other player. They're nearly 10 points per 100 possessions better on offense with him on the court. He is the reason they score most nights."


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