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Around The World: March 30

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

    March 30 Video: Trail Blazers 99, Hornets 93 Video: Luke Babbitt Post-Game Interview Video: LaMarcus Aldridge Post-game Interview

    Trail Blazers: Wesley Matthews Receives Kia Community Assist Award For February
    "Giving back to the community puts everything in perspective," Matthews said. "As players, basketball is something that we do, it's not who we are as people. Making a difference is what defines a person and I am grateful to be in a position to help children and families in need."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers vs Clippers Preview
    "Winning is the best medicine," All-Star forward Blake Griffin said. "We lost three games in a row before we came home, and the world was about to fall apart for us. But we're doing a better job of not letting teams fight back into it and making it harder on ourselves -- at least we have the last three games. We're trying to finish out games and go to the playoffs on the right foot."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Win Secure Season Sweep Of Hornets
    “That’s huge,” Batum said of Babbitt’s performance. “We know he’s a great shooter, so if he can come in on the court, he can spread the court for us. What he did tonight was great.”

    Trail Blazers: Blazers Finish Sweep of Hornets
    "The Trail Blazers did some damage themselves from behind the arc, led by Luke Babbitt, who leads all second-year players in the NBA now at just a hair below 50 percent on the season. Babbitt gave Portland a huge boost off the bench, scoring 16 points in just 17 minutes of action. Opportunity is something he’s been given now, and he’s certainly making the most of it."

    Oregon Live: Portland 99, New Orleans 93: Blazers fend off feisty Hornets but fall short of chalupas
    "Luke's been working his tail off in practice," interim coach Kaleb Canales said. "I'm happy for him. He's getting the opportunity to play, but we've always believed in Luke."

    Columbian: Blazers top Hornets, 99-93
    "That's what it is, getting an opportunity. All year I feel like I've played pretty well," said Babbitt, whose minutes have increased exponentially since Kaleb Canales replaced Nate McMillan as the team's head coach. "There's nothing different with my confidence ... but I'm not satisfied with just one game. I want to build off of this."

    Columbian: Allen denies report he’s looking to sell Blazers
    “The story is absolutely false. I just talked with Paul, and he made perfectly clear that his position has not changed since he spoke with Portland reporters”

    Portland Tribune: Williams: Canales 'Has done the right things'
    “Kaleb has worked tremendously hard to be in this position. Mr. (Paul) Allen doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. I’m pretty sure he thought about that for awhile. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for a guy who used to sweep up the gym and sleep on the sofas late at night. I’d come early in the morning; he’d be getting out of the shower. To see him in a head-coaching position is pretty cool. Even though he’s young, he’s done things the right way.”

    Portland Tribune: Babbitt's on fire as Blazers prevail
    "The score was tied 89-89 with three minutes left when LaMarcus Aldridge – who had an All-Star-like performance with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists – converted a fadeaway jumper. That kicked off a 10-1 Portland run that provided a 99-90 lead and finally put away the pesky Hornets."

    Rip City Project: Game 51 Recap: Blazers 99, Hornets 93
    "Anybody that thinks NBA players don’t care about losing, or have a real interest in losing games on purpose because they think it will help them in the long run have probably never been in a losing team’s locker room. Thursday I dipped into the Hornets locker room post game, something I don’t often do, to catch up with former Blazer Chris Johnson. I had a nice little chat with CJ, which I’ll hopefully turn into something at some point when I have a free moment, but I also had a chance to see a really dejected Hornets team. For a solid five minutes as I stood waiting for CJ to get showered and dressed I watched Carl Landry sit wrapped in ice bags with his head down staring at the floor. Landry had a great game Thursday, 24 points on 9-of-13 from the field and nine rebounds in a toe-to-toe match-up with LaMarcus Aldridge. There’s no question that losing Thursday hurt for Landry, you could see it in his body language. And this is a team that has now lost 38 times this season. That’s two more loses than Chicago, Miami, and Oklahoma City have COMBINED. I would love to have seen Landry’s reaction if somebody had come up to him as he was sitting in front of his locker icing down and told him to buck up, a loss to Portland Thursday means NOLA improves their chances at the number one overall pick, and he and the organization should be happy about that. I’m guessing he wouldn’t have taken very kindly to that line of thinking."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers Preview
    "Portland's final task, should they have any prayer of winning this game, will be to hit shots. The Clippers defend quite well in the paint and I don't see Portland having any chance of overcoming them with a pound-it-in offense. The Blazers will need to get the ball into the paint at some point, but it'll have to come off of made jumpers spreading the defense. Note that this is not an optimal--probably not even a solid--game plan but it's what the Blazers are stuck with now. The Clippers don't defend the perimeter that well. They don't force turnovers or rotate that well. With a couple passes the Blazers should be able to get jumpers from 15 feet all the way out to infinity. They must make those shots. Otherwise all the ugly in the world won't save them."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 99, Hornets 93
    "The guy is hot, we're going to find him," Felton said. "Luke is a great shooter. He's been doing that all year in practice, since Day One. he's getting his opportunity and taking advantage of it. As a point guard, I love to see Luke over there in that corner or popping when I'm coming off the screen and roll because he can shoot the ball. I'm going to look for him because he knocks it down."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jason Terry loses a bet, loses his high socks, would like to play in Miami. In that order
    "As Trey pointed out, Terry's time spent without a headband is not unprecedented, as he didn't wear one during his rookie year of 1999-00 (the season the headband craze went out of control to the point that even Detlef Schrempf wore one for a few games as a Portland Trail Blazer), but JET's fascination with several pairs of super-high socks dates all the way back to his time in Arizona in the mid-1990s."

    The Basketball Jones via Washington Post: Andray Blatche’s mom knows why he gets booed
    “She said, ‘They’re booing you because they know the potential that you have, the type of player that you can be,’” Blatche said. “She feels like I’m not doing everything I can do to be that player and I need to work harder and stay more focused. She said it’s no one’s fault but my own. It hurt a little, but sometimes you need the truth.”

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.30
    "Danny Granger posted 25 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two blocks and three three-pointers last night against the Wizards. He shot 53 percent (8-15) from the field and 100 percent (6-6) from the free-throw line, and had no turnovers. Granger has displayed a habit of turning in a clunker or two each week, but he’s maintained top 50 value throughout the season."

    DIME: Video: 5-9 James Justice Destroys The College Slam Dunk Contest
    "You hear it all the time whenever a dunk contest is even remotely exciting: “THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE NBA DUNK CONTEST!” Normally, it’s only a matter of expectations being lowered. But this time, because of 5-9 James Justice, you could make the case. The lil’ man showed everything in his back of tricks, and when he put the ball through his legs off a lob, he had the championship belt all wrapped up."

    DIME: Video: Kevin Durant Serves Up An Exclamation Point On The Lakers
    "People disagreed with me when I said Derek Fisher was getting closer to a championship by going from L.A. to OKC. I think last night verified my opinion pretty strongly. It might be a different story if they were to meet up in the playoffs, but I doubt it. Here’s Kevin Durant reminding everyone the Thunder are still the best team in the West. "

    SLAM: Post Up: Revenge Tour
    "LaMarcus Aldridge racked up 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, Wes Mathews scored 18 points and Ray Felton had 12 points and 10 assists as Portland eeked out a win over the Hornets, who are now 3-7 over their last 10 games. Even Luke Babbitt scored a career-high 16 points, including 4 threes as the Trail Blazers fought off the pesky Hornets. New Orleans actually led for most of the first half, and even stuck around as the Blazers jumped out to an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter. But alas, even with Marco Bellinelli stroking 7 three-pointers and dropping a game-high 27 points, the Hornets just didn’t have the fourth-quarter firepower to upend PDX."

    ESPN: Fact or Fiction: Portland was right to take a step back at the deadline.
    "Fact. They managed to keep Aldridge and Batum while acquiring two potential lottery picks (New Jersey's and their own) in a supposedly loaded draft. If they draft well and use their cap space for a good free agent, they'll be far ahead where we thought they were three months ago. While people seem to hate tanking right now, it's a brilliant strategy for hitting the reset button. Just look at what Utah did."


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