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Around The World: April 2

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

    April 2 Video: Trail Blazers 119, Timberwolves 106 Video: LaMarcus Aldridge Arena Link Video: J.J. Hickson Post-game Interview

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Open Homestand With Win Over Timberwolves
    “I thought, and we thought as a coaching staff, that we played 48 minutes of Blazer basketball on both ends tonight,” said Portland coach Kaleb Canales. “We’re sharing the basketball…Just fun basketball tonight.”

    Trail Blazers: Steve "Snapper" Jones Honored At Timberwolves Game
    “I follow them all the time, I know what’s wrong with them and I know what’s right with them. They’re in a tough stretch now,” he said. “The thing I would tell the fans right now is to be patient. They know that they’ve got some issues but they’ll find a way to turn it around and they’ll be okay.”

    Trail Blazers: Balancing Act Pays Off In Big Win For Trail Blazers
    “I think that’s the beauty about our team, we have balance,” Hickson said. “Wes had a good game – like you said, everybody had a good game. Everybody plays their part night in, night out, on any given night anyone can go off for 20 plus or 10 or more rebounds. So we just have a balanced attack.”

    Trail Blazers: Blazers Close Out Minnesota
    "Seeing Aldridge and Hickson play so effectively together in the second half obviously leads to the question- should those two be starting together on the front line? Joel Przybilla, who didn't play in this game so that he could rest his sore knee, wouldn't have played much in this game anyway, so Hickson got extended minutes with Aldridge. Minnesota is small right now, and Portland was able to play the Aldridge/Hickson combo and not get hurt on the boards. Against Utah on Monday, this may not be the case. Utah is big and physical, and hopefully Przybilla will be able to go, because he'll be needed."

    Oregon Live: Portland 119, Minnesota 106: LaMarcus Aldridge battles Kevin Love to standstill, gets plenty of help to secure win
    “That seemed to motivate him that much more to play against (Love),” Batum said. “He did a good job tonight. He was really aggressive. It’s been a long time, since the All-Star break (since) we’ve seen L.A. this aggressive.”

    Oregon Live: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz game preview
    “Since winning six consecutive games in the middle of March, the Jazz has dropped three in a row and four of its last five. On Saturday, the Jazz lost 105-96 at the Los Angeles Clippers. In 10 games this season against some of the best power forwards in the NBA (Aldridge, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki), Millsap is averaging 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. Millsap had 42 steals in March, the second-most in the NBA during the month. Utah's bench ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 35.8 points per game. After starting the season 3-13 on the road, the Jazz has won five of its last 11 away from EnergySolutions Arena.”

    Columbian: Nolan, Sydney Smith share sibling bond
    “Our conversations are honest. He knows that with me, he’s not going to get someone who tells him what he wants to hear,” Sydney said. “Sometimes, if he needs rest, I’m going to make sure he gets off Skype and goes to sleep. He’s told me before that I act like a coach with him.”

    Columbian: Blazers Defeat Tiumberwolves
    “L.A. (Aldridge) let me know (that he was close to a triple double),” said Felton, who had a 23-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound game with the Knicks last year. “He told me to go grab two more rebounds.”

    Basketball Prospectus: Thoughts On Hickson, Babbitt, Flynn
    "The result is that Hickson is getting much better shot opportunities than he did in Sacramento, or even last year in Cleveland. According to, nearly 20 percent of Hickson's shots with the Blazers have come off pick-and-rolls, with just 4.9 percent as the result of spot-up situations. The latter number is down from 13.2 percent with the Kings and 14.8 percent in 2010-11. It's even lower than his mark from his successful 2009-10 season with the Cavaliers (10.7 percent). Hickson is one of the league's worst midrange shooters, so cutting those attempts out of his game and focusing instead on getting to the rim has made him far more efficient. "

    Blazersedge: Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers Preview
    "The Jazz have been crippled by injuries to two key veterans: Josh Howard and Raja Bell, both down with bad knees. They aren't the biggest names on the roster but Bell was a reliable shooter and Howard--though a shadow of his old self offensively--had big-game potential. Center-foward Al Jefferson has done all he can to fill in, taking a prodigious number of shots and scoring high...26 and 27 in their last two games. Power forward Paul Millsap, himself an offensive impresario, offensive rebounds and takes whatever shots Jefferson leaves behind. They're a handful for opposing teams, a constant threat to score at the big positions."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 119, Timberwolves 106
    "It's very tough," Love said. "Losing Ricky was obviously the toughest thing for us. We were able to grind out games, get wins. Pek went down, J.J. continued to be hurt, he never got right with him hamstring and now his quad. With Michael out, he's added firepower. All four of those guys add something special to this team, when we were rolling we had everybody together. It's definitely tough at this point but we have to look to get better. We needed a better defensive effort."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Avery Bradley Blocks Dwyane Wade
    "On Sunday, Celtics guard Avery Bradley gave Wade a taste of his medicine. With the Celtics up 40-35 late in the second quarter, Wade cut to the basket and took a pass from LeBron James for what seemed like an open lay-in. Bradley met him at the apex of his jump, though, swatting the shot away. The Heat ended up getting a three, but the play helped set the tone for Boston's domination of the second half."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Nicolas Batum goaltends his own shot with his own head
    "A few words of advice to NBA players — when you’re dunking, avoid hitting anyone else in the head with the basketball. If you do, the ball will bounce back through the net and the refs will nullify the basket. It’s happened twice now, because James Naismith didn’t have the foresight to make a rule telling referees that dunks should count if they go through the basket. Kinda botched that one, Jimbo."

    DIME: The 10 Best NCAA Basketball Championship Games Ever
    "In terms of name recognition, this classic was one of the best March Madness championship games of the past 20 years. UConn was headlined by players like Richard Hamilton (before the mask), Ricky Moore and Khalid El-Amin. Duke came into the game at 37-1, and as EASILY the best team in America. They were so good and so talented that Corey Maggette was coming off the bench. I remember watching the introductions thinking, “There’s no way anyone can beat Duke.” William Avery and Trajan Langdon went on to be first round busts in the NBA, but as Dukies, they were seemingly unflappable. Yet on this night, that backcourt was dominated by Moore and El-Amin. In the closing seconds, UConn’s pudgy point guard (everyone forgets how loveable he was) hit a floater, and Moore ripped Langdon off the bounce to win it 77-74."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 4.2 (Weekend Recap)
    "Gerald Wallace averaged 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 4.0 steals, 1.0 block and 2.0 threes in two games over the weekend. In this stretch, he shot 54 percent from the floor and 89 percent from the free-throw line, while averaging 2.5 turnovers per game. It’s only been nine games, but Wallace has averaged better all-around numbers (top 20 value) for the Nets than those he was putting up in Portland earlier this season."

    DIME: Video: Russell Westbrook Dunks & Destroys Chicago’s Omer Asik
    "That was the case Sunday, at least, in the Thunder’s 92-78 win over East-leading, albeit Derrick Rose-less, Chicago. As Chicago’s Omer Asik found out, Westbrook is less a pass-first point and more a mash-first point. He finished with 27 points and Kevin Durant went for 26. Does OKC make it look this easy if they play against Rose? Of course not. But you know there’s still no way Asik stops Westbrook."

    SLAM via NBA: Reggie Miller, Don Nelson, Ralph Sampson Headline 2012 Hall of Fame Class
    The inductees include five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach Don Nelson, three-time National College Player of the Year Ralph Sampson, two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, distinguished basketball official and coordinator Hank Nichols, former college and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes and the first women’s professional basketball team, the All American Red Heads. They join the five directly elected members who were announced during the NBA All-Star Weekend in February by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball."

    SLAM: Post Up: April Cools
    "Portland avoided a season sweep at the hands of the Timberwolves on the strength of a combined 50 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum and 6 Blazers players scoring in double figures. Aldridge and Kevin Love went at it all night, pushing and shoving in the post—which made for an entertaining matchup of All-Star power forwards. Aldridge scored 26 points on 10-17 shooting and pulled down 8 rebounds. Love matched his point total with 26 of his own (doing most of his damage at the free throw line, where he shot 11-12) and had 9 boards. But the Blazers won the game, after building a 7-point lead by halftime and riding 52 percent shooting throughout the game. Plus, Raymond Felton continued his unlikely post-trade deadline success, as he nearly had a triple-double with 10 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds. Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour each dropped 21 for the Wolves, who only turned the ball over 8 times but still dropped below Portland in the Western Conference standings with the L."

    ESPN: Power Rankings
    "Are the Blazers for sale? Owner Paul Allen has adamantly denied it. Are the Blazers in full-on tank mode after trading away Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby? Hard to make that claim as hard as Portland played over the weekend in a one-point road loss to the Clips and a home rout over Oregon native K-Love's Wolves."


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