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Around The World: April 5

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    April 5 Video: Trail Blazers 101, Nets 88 Video: J.J. Hick Post-Game Interview Video: Ray Felton Post-Game Interview

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Hang On To Best Nets
    "Our defense was the type of defense that we want to play for 48 minutes. That’s our identity, that’s who we want to be," said Portland coach Kaleb Canales. "I thought it was a very good defensive effort tonight."

    Trail Blazers: Blazer Run Sinks Nets
    "Wallace was greeted, as expected, very warmly by the Portland fans. But, the night didn't go the way he expected it would. Wallace had three shots rejected by the Blazers, struggled from the field, shooting just 3 of 12, and was dunked on hard by Aldridge in the second half. Wallace ended with 8 points and 9 rebounds."

    Trail Blazers: VIDEO: Hickson The Highlight Reel
    “He’s so active. I’ve always wanted to play with somebody that was like him. A Lou Amundson, a Reggie Evans, somebody that’s active and always keeping guys on their toes. I thought he’s been big late in games when teams have been keying in on me, he’s been getting easy buckets. He’s been coming through for us.”

    Trail Blazers: Final Blog Contest: Looking Forward to the Off-Season, What’s Your Wish List?
    "What does it mean to have media credentials, you ask? It means you will get to watch the Trail Blazers warm-up from the floor at the Rose Garden before the arena opens, listen to Kaleb Canales’ pre-game chat, watch the game from media row AND get to interview the players post-game in the locker room. It’s a pretty big deal."

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: Blazers make 'progress' in GM search, dream big for next season
    "We have always joked about going home together one day, of playing in Dallas one day," Aldridge said. "But I haven't talked to him. I haven't looked at the free agent market, but I will after the season is over, just to see if I can help get anyone that they are trying to get."

    Oregon Live: Portland 101, New Jersey 88: No chance to woo Deron Williams, but Blazers get a win
    "A grass-roots "#dwill2ripcity" campaign on Twitter helped ignite the Williams rally and local sports talk radio further fanned the flame Wednesday morning, urging fans to chant Williams name just as they have done for countless other Blazers favorites. "I saw it on Twitter," Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge said after the game. "It was telling the fans to do something. But I didn't really read it all the way through."

    Oregon Live: Gerald Wallace Q&A: 'It was kind of shocking. I didn't see it coming. I didn't think I was on the trading block.'
    "The fans. This is one of the most amazing arenas to play in in front of the fans. The home crowd is the biggest thing I’m missing. And my teammates. You know, it was a tough season for us. Things didn’t go the way we wanted, the way we expected. We got off to a great start, and then kind of hit the wall there."

    Columbian: Blazers cut down the Nets in second half
    “That’s my first one. Four years and finally I got it. It was nice,” said Batum, whose shot came after a J.J. Hickson field goal was waved off. “After the J.J. shot, a fan got excited and I was like, ‘No basket. Calm down.’ But then I was like, ‘I got you.’ ”

    Columbian: Blazers Notebook: Wallace cheered in return to ‘Rip City’
    “I was kind of shocked. I didn’t see it coming. I was kind of surprised about it,” Wallace said. “I was happy (in Portland). I was disappointed I was traded, but at the same time it’s a chance to go in a different direction.”

    Portland Tribune: Ailing Aldridge, Batum come up big for Blazers
    “This is the worst I’ve been banged up since I’ve been in the league,” said Aldridge, in his sixth NBA campaign. “I have a lot of nagging things. Normally you have one or two things. I have a lot of things that are nagging.”

    Rip City Project: Game 55 Recap: Blazers 101, Nets 88
    "By beating the Nets Wednesday, the Blazers pushed New Jersey one step closer to that 3-2-1 area where nobody wants them to go. Right now Washington, Charlotte, Toronto, and New Orleans have worse records than New Jersey. Winning Wednesday doesn’t hurt Portland all that much, similar to how winning improves the Blazers’ Playoff chances but only as much as buying 1,000 Mega Millions tickets improves a person’s chances of winning $650 million, but Portland fans should probably actively cheer for New Jersey to win a couple of games down the stretch. Toronto has 17 wins, so they could catch New Jersey for fourth to last in the East. In the West, the deeper conference top to bottom, New Orleans probably won’t get five more wins, so even if New Jersey loses out and Toronto picks up a couple W’s there will probably still be three teams with more ping pong balls in the hopper than the Nets will have."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 101, Nets 88
    "I'm going to keep it 100 with them," Felton declared. "You feel me?" Flush with confidence after delivering a steady late-game performance and showing off what looked to be brand-new black Louis Vuitton shoes, this was Tony Montana "Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy," a rebel without a cause, a pause or a filter, a moment of 1995 Tupac Shakur "Me Against The World" audacity. Love Felton, hate Felton, indifferent to Felton, frustrated by Felton, amused by Felton or confused by Felton, the exchange certainly settled one thing, once and for all: He simply doesn't give a [yup]."

    Ball Don't Lie: Stan Van Gundy confirms reports that Dwight Howard wants him fired (UPDATE, with VIDEO)
    "Things got even more awkward moments later, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times, when Howard ambled over to Van Gundy, leaned down and hugged him, not knowing that the coach had just told a gaggle of reporters that the All-Star center tried to have him fired. Howard reportedly immediately denied it, demanding reporters reveal their source, who was standing just a few feet away. Wow."

    Ball Don't Lie: Andrew Bynum proves to be exactly who we think he is in Lakers win over Clippers
    "With Bynum scoring 21.4 points per game on 63.6 percent shooting since the All-Star break, the Lakers are 15-6 in the second half. He's averaging 18 points, 12 boards and two blocks per game on the season, he's top-10 in the league in Player Efficiency Rating, and when he's as aggressive and decisive with the ball as he was against the Clips, he's very clearly the most dominant physical force in the middle not named Dwight Howard ... and some nights, on offense at least, he makes you wonder a bit about whether he's more than just a clear No. 2 there. If the Lakers want to make postseason noise, Bynum is going to have to be a focal point of their attack. That's not to denigrate the excellence of Kobe Bryant or the gifts of Pau Gasol; it's just a fact, simple and plain."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Blake Griffin dunked all over Pau Gasol twice
    "Los Angeles Clippers forward and Lob City deputy mayor Blake Griffin has had an interesting season, playing for a team that's fully in the playoff picture but nevertheless seeing his popularity dip among NBA diehards because of perceived behavioral issues. Simply put, Griffin jaws at opponents and complains about calls a lot, to the point where he can come across as a bit of a jerk. Everybody's favorite highlight-maker isn't quite the same."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 4.5
    "LeBron James owned the Thunder with his 34 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, four steals, one block and three three-pointers last night. He shot 50 percent (10-20) from the field and 85 percent (11-13) from the free-throw line, and had two turnovers. This followed his 41/6/4 line against the Sixers the previous night. Believe it or not, last night’s monster line helped James reclaim the No. 1 spot over Kevin Durant again."

    DIME: The NBA’s Top 5 Most Disrespectful Dunks Ever
    "You know, I have to use the word because it’s been played out, but this dunk from Shawn Kemp over Alton Lister is the definition of swag. It was so good, the dunk received it’s own name. You can’t have a top dunk list and not include one of the signature slams in NBA history. I wonder what Lister thinks about it now. Does he enjoy being a part of history when he otherwise would’ve probably been lost in time? Or is he still blushing?"

    SLAM: Post Up: Playoff Flavor
    "Deron Williams took the night off with a “stomach virus.” I wish I was funny enough to make a joke about the relationship between his “illness” and the Nets’ ineptitude, but I’m not. (Help me out in the comments section, maybe?) But hey, no DWill, no problem—Sundiata Gaines and Johan Petro in the staring lineup! Needless to say, New Jersey lacked even more punch than normal, and the Blazers finished the game on a 19-3 run to beat former Portland forward Gerald Wallace and his new team. LaMarcus Aldridge took advantage of being unquestionably the best player on the floor at all times, finishing with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots to lead the Blazers. Kris Humphries had 21 and 11 for the Nets, while “Crash” Wallace put up 8 points and 9 boards against his former squad."


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