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Around The World: March 23

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

    March 23 Video: Trail Blazers 97, Grizzlies 93 Video: Nicolas Batum Post-Game Interview

    Facebook: Greg Oden Makes Facebook Statement To Trail Blazers Fans
    "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have supported me during my time in Portland. The physical setbacks I have faced during my career have been extremely challenging but I am grateful to everyone who have stood by me and remained positive. I would especially like to thank everyone in the Blazers organization, my teammates, the fans, my family and friends. As I move forward in a new direction, I am committed to pursuing my goals of getting back on the court and I will always hold a special place in my heart for the state and people of Oregon."

    SLAM: Q+A: Jamal Crawford
    "We got off to such a fast start though that our fall has been dramatic, I think we’re right underneath .500 right now. If we’d started off the season .500, people would be like well you lost Brandon Roy, and Greg Oden’s still hurt; there would have been lower expectations possibly. But we started off so fast that it put a lot of pressure on us, and now we’re just trying to fight to get into the Playoffs."

    Trail Blazers: Portland Edges Out Memphis, 97-93
    “It felt good, it felt really good,” said Jamal Crawford of the fans’ reaction. “It reminded me of the beginning and the times we had really big wins against good teams. Hopefully we can see more of that but that’s on us to go out and perform.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers 97, Grizzlies 93: Post-Game Notes
    "Portland's 25 free throws made were its most without a miss since going 30-30 on Nov. 30, 1986 at Indiana. The Trail Blazers entered the night ranked third in the NBA in free-throw percentage shooting 78.9% from the charity stripe. Portland is now tied for second in the NBA in free throw shooting (79.4%). Seven different Trail Blazers combined to go 25-for-25 tonight, the first time this season any team in the NBA has made 25 free-throws without a miss."

    Trail Blazers Nicolas Batum: ‘I gotta step up, I’m number two option right now’
    "After the last two games, OKC and the last one against Milwaukee, I wasn’t very aggressive. And now I gotta step up. The last move we made I talk with the guys, with the coach and said ‘Now I gotta step up. I’m number two option right now so I gotta do a better job.’ I missed that the last two games so today I was like ‘okay, you gotta come in, you gotta play. You gotta play like a go-to guy almost. So I did a pretty good job on that. Start to play aggressive and I’m gonna make some mistake but I don’t worry about it. I’m gonna make some mistake now, so I gotta do something. Just try to be aggressive all night."

    Trail Blazers: Thabeet And Flynn Hoop With The Children's Cancer Association
    “This is fun! Just to bring a smile to these kids faces and hopefully let them forget for a hour or two what they’re really going thorough. These are the real heroes right there that's fighting every single day," Flynn said. "So it’s just fun to be out here and bring out my inner kid. This is always a fun time.”

    Trail Blazers: Nolan Smith And Blaze Visit Felida Elementary
    "This is very comfortable for me, to come out and speak to kids or if it's me randomly speaking to a kid in public about it. I can just do it naturally and feel comfortable talking to somebody, give them a lift, you know?"

    Oregon Live: Portland 97, Memphis 93: Nicolas Batum scores 24 as Blazers fend off Grizzlies
    "We have 19 more games and when I watch the standings on ... there's a little cross that means you're (not) in the playoffs," Batum said. "We don't have this cross right now. So that means we can be in the playoffs. And we believe in it."

    Oregon Live: Blazers-Grizzlies: J.J. Hickson, minutes from joining Golden State, is diverted to Portland
    “I got a better feel tonight,” Hickson said. “They run a lot of stuff off the elbow, a lot of flex action. They dump it down a lot, and they just play off each other. That’s what I’m used to, and that’s what I’m accustomed to.”

    Columbian: Blazers top Grizzlies, 97-93
    “It’s kind of like a spit in the face,” said Blazers point guard Raymond Felton, whose team will meet the Lakers in Los Angeles Friday. “That’s motivation to me. To hear it — and everyone’s starting to hear it more — you can see it everyone’s eyes ‘let’s prove everyone wrong.’ ”

    Portland Tribune: Batum, defense key Portland victory
    “We played with resolve,” Canales said. “We executed. We got the ball to the people we wanted to get the ball to down the stretch.”

    Portland Tribune: Hickson promises: 'You'll start to see the old J.J.'
    “I was on the bench licking my chops,” he says. “The way these guys play, it kind of fits my game. These guys are not selfish at all. They pass the ball, run the floor, play defense, get stops, they take the right shots.”

    Rip City Project: Game 47 Recap: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 93
    "Here’s my contention: be happy with the win. Here’s why: Portland is probably not going to get enough wins down the stretch to fight for a Playoff spot, but they’re just not going to be able to lose enough to get into a top-10 draft position with their own pick. It would take a colossal tank job to end up in a worse spot than two of the three teams trailing the Blazers in the Western Conference, not to mention there are six teams in the East with fewer than 20 wins. In fact, Portland has more wins than all the non-Playoff teams in the Eastern Conference."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 93
    "Putting aside the cynicism for the sake of documenting Thursday night's events, there were some golden moments for Portland, and they started shortly after the tip. Blazers forward Nicolas Batum scored the game's first four points, getting inside on both baskets. The early success was a sign of things to come, as Batum finished with a game-high 24 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists on 9-for-15 shooting in 35 minutes."

    DIME via CBS: Report: Austin Rivers Is Going To The NBA
    "I personally saw him hit the buzzer-beating three to beat UNC this year through a trip with Jordan Brand, and even before that, I recognized he’s on his way to becoming a dangerous scorer in the NBA. While the report from says many NBA executives expect the 6-3 Rivers to be a lottery pick, has him slotted at No. 18. does have him being selected at No. 11. "

    DIME: How Long Should Jason Smith Be Suspended For Over Body Checking Blake Griffin?
    "On ESPN this morning, Stephen A. Smith said this should be an automatic 10-game suspension, and even went so far as to say he wouldn’t be against having David Stern and the rest of the suits throw the cuffs on Smith for the entire season. That caught us off guard. That’s a 19-game suspension, also 14 more than Andrew Bynum initially got for what he did to J.J. Barea in the 2011 Playoffs (it was eventually reduced to a four-game suspension)."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.23
    "Nicolas Batum: 9-15 FG (60%), 2-2 FT (100%), 4 threes, 24 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 TO; Up until last night, Batum failed to really take advantage of Gerald Wallace’s departure. Look for him to heat up again soon."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Trouble In Paradise
    "Gilbert Arenas is back! Okay, the exclamation was probably not the appropriate reaction, but Agent Zero is technically back as an NBA player—last night he scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting off the bench in a Grizzlies L. Portland got 24 points from Nicolas Batum and 18 points and 9 boards from Wes Matthews as the revamped (read: gutted) Blazers got a bounce-back win. PDX shot 25-25 from the free throw line (10-10 from Jamal Crawford alone, including 4 clutch ones down the stretch), besting Memphis’ 16-23 from the charity stripe and the Blazers made 10 threes."

    ESPN: Who or what is most to blame for the Clippers' skid?
    "Bad luck, a tough second-half schedule, Chauncey Billups' injury, a lack of consistent play from their bigs, coaching and coming back down to Earth following the CP3 honeymoon. I think it's a little bit of everything, but if I had to pick one factor I'd say it's Chauncey's injury. In addition to his play, he also provided experience, leadership and stability. Without those things, the team's other flaws became more apparent."


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