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Around The World: March 22

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

    March 22

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Claim J.J. Hickson Off Waivers
    “We like J.J.'s energy and physicality,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “He’s a young, but experienced player who can help our frontline.”

    Trail Blazers Fan Blog: Beware The Ides Of March
    "I think I’ll always remember how he continued to find ways to motivate the Blazers in the ‘09-’10 and ’10-‘11 seasons when the team was plagued with injuries. Nate was able to get fight from the guys, and get them to the playoffs, when all seemed lost. I think that’s part of why it seemed so strange that he couldn’t do the same this season. I think a big part of it is the lack of practice time this year, due to the lockout shortened season. As Mike Rice always says in the Chalk Talks on TBTV, Nate excelled in practice time, being able to correct things and prepare for the next game, and this year he just didn’t have it. Nate wasn’t a perfect coach, but he was a damn good one. I’m sad to see him go."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers will give J.J. Hickson, power forward claimed off waivers, a long-term look
    "He's a good young big who can play (power forward) and some small (center)," said Mike Born, the Blazers director of NBA scouting. "He's athletic, a pretty good rebounder. If you look at what he did when he was in Cleveland, he did a pretty good job in a structured role. This is an opportunity for us to look at a pretty good young player."

    Oregon Live: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies game preview
    "Memphis has lost four of its last six games, including a 119-110 defeat Tuesday night at the Sacramento Kings. Gay had 23 points and Gasol finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the loss. It was the first game of a four-game trip for Memphis, which includes games at the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers in addition to Portland. Eight of their next 10 games are on the road. Newly acquired guard Gilbert Arenas is expected to join the Grizzlies before tonight's game. Randolph, the former Blazers forward, missed 37 games with an MCL sprain in his right knee."

    Portland Tribune: Lots For Blazers To Handle
    "The once-proud Blazers — who started 11-1 at home but have lost seven of their last 10 there — are 21-25 and entered Wednesday night in 12th place in the West, 3 1/2 games behind eighth-place Houston (25-22). Problem is, it's not just catching the Rockets. It's passing the other teams ahead of them — Utah, Phoenix and Minnesota — while looking back at Golden State, at 18-25 even with the Blazers in the loss column."

    Basketball Prospectus: Excellent Chance Blazers Get Nets' 2012 First Round Pick
    "73.7% - New Jersey to Portland SCHOENE sees a Nets team with Gerald Wallace winning enough down the stretch to likely knock their pick out of the top three. That's exactly what the Blazers are hoping for, so they can get the selection they acquired in the Wallace deal this year. The most likely outcome has this pick landing somewhere from 5-7, which would allow Portland to add a promising talent."

    SB Nation: NBA Lottery Watch 2012: The Genius Of The Blazers
    "The Blazers could not be in better position heading into the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery as landing two top-10 picks looks increasingly likely. Bless you, New Jersey."

    Blazersedge: Interview: Blazers F J.J. Hickson Talks Buy Out, Waiver Claim, His Game, Coming To Portland
    "I would say -- being able to switch out on defense. Being able to switch pick and rolls. Being able to keep a point guard in front of me, or a two guard or a three in front of me. As far as offense, being able to get the rebound, outlet, and get down the floor. It's something they are missing. I'm just a piece of the puzzle and I'm looking to contribute and make the playoffs."

    Blazersedge: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Preview
    "One thing that hasn't changed: Memphis loves their easy points. They're top five on the break and in the paint both. Match their energy, though, and they start to break down. They're not great shooters as a team and they're poor from beyond the arc. Nor do they usually draw enough fouls to make up for their lack of scoring in the halfcourt offense. They need to run. They need to pound you. They need to play quick and loose or they're likely to get stumped. Their best safety valve when they do bog down is offensive rebounding. Those bigs have a nose for the ball, especially when it means free put-back points. For all of that, the Grizzlies don't turn over the ball that much. They're going to make you earn it if you want to defend them."

    Ball Don't Lie: Maybe the Toronto Raptors should wait until they are good before wearing camouflage jerseys again
    "It's plain to see (visibility joke) that getting punked while wearing leafy alternates opens the door to getting made fun of more than usual, so maybe the Raps should pump the brakes on this particular method of supporting the troops next year. (Unless, of course, sales of the camo gear are brisk — as Joseph Casciaro writes at RaptorBlog, 20 percent of all proceeds "will go toward the Canadian Military Families Fund." If people are buying 'em, wear 'em all the time.)"

    Ball Don't Lie: Meet the new JaVale McGee: A heady, offensive-rebounding game-winner
    "In a postgame interview, McGee acknowledged recognizing before the shot went up that the Pistons had decided not to bracket him with two bodies on the boxout. Once the ball was in the air, he hustled off the line, forcing Monroe to push him, leaving the Detroit center off-balance. McGee then took a quick step backward, which ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin pointed out gave him an opportunity to gather himself and created space for him to explode to the rim. (JaVale's memory's a bit off; he didn't push Monroe under the rim as much as blow past him, leaving Monroe on the outside looking in.)"

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.22
    "Ben Gordon: 45 Pts, 9 threes, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO; Wow. He started thanks to Rodney Stuckey’s injury, so take this line with a grain of salt. But feel free to take a flier on Gordon if you need a scoring guard."

    SLAM via Express News: Patty Mills Signed With the San Antonio Spurs
    "Mills, an Australian national who could be in line for immediate minutes backing up Tony Parker, is eager to resume his NBA career, his agent said. ‘It shouldn’t be too much longer,’ agent Aaron Goodwin said. ‘There is a deal in principle. He just has to get a visa.’ Mills, 23, averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 assists in limited minutes during his first two NBA seasons in Portland."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Five Straight
    "If you were to tell me that the Knicks were going to score 82 points in a game and win a month ago, I would have never believed it. But that’s exactly what they did last night on the road against the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks jumped out to an early lead, lost it, tightened up defensively, gained the lead back and eventually pulled out the win. New York held Philly to under 40 percent shooting from the field, outrebounded them 47-39 and outscored them 32-20 in the paint. STAT shot 8-14 from the firled and finished with 21 points and 9 boards–he looked like the Amare Stoudemire of yesteryear for the first time this season last night. Jeremy Lin scored 16 in the fourth to finish with 18 (on 4-17 shooting) and Melo finished with 10 as the Knicks now sit one game below .500. Philadelphia started the game 0-14 from the field and were playing catchup for most of the contest. Jrue Holiday had 16 while Jodie Meeks, Lou Will, and Andre Iguodala each had 13."

    ESPN: Which prospect in the West Region are you most interested in?
    "Bradley Beal. The Florida 2-guard has yet to impress me, but one-and-dones can pay off despite pedestrian college numbers (think Eric Gordon). The NBA has such a dearth of quality shooting guards that any such prospect is worth analyzing."


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