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Around The World: April 6

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

    April 6

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers vs Mavericks Preview
    "The Mavericks rebounded from a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the fourth-place team in the West, by topping Memphis 95-85 on Wednesday. The win allowed Dallas to move into a tie with the Grizzlies for fifth in the conference."

    Trail Blazers: Craig The Rhino Meets Zuri The Rhino At The Oregon Zoo
    "It's a jungle out there, you know?" said Smith. "It's kind of like survival of the fittest. In a sense, it's the same thing as playing basketball. I embrace the rhino because when someone tries to get the ball or take it away from me, I get real defensive. I try to protect the basketball and my teammates as well. In that sense, it's being a beast in the jungle, one of the rare few. And being able to survive out there, because it's dangerous."

    Trail Blazers: On Top Of The World
    "Don Holden, a 27-year-old season ticket holder, and 15-year-old Tom Zauner, enjoying the NBA Finals with his father, cemented themselves in Rip City lore by being captured in one of the most iconic images in Trail Blazers history. You know the one: two fans, standing tall atop the basket, looking down upon the sea of fans who stormed the court immediately after George McGinnis’ floater fell short, giving Portland the 109-107 victory."

    Oregon Live: LaMarcus Aldridge's backup, J.J. Hickson, is becoming a nice sidekick
    “It’s always a confidence builder for myself, to know that Coach wants me in the game in crunch time at the end of games,” Hickson said Wednesday night of his expanding fourth-quarter role. “Every practice we have, every game we have, I’m getting more comfortable and comfortable. Tonight, I definitely got a little more comfortable with what we were doing on the offensive end, as well as defensive end. And like I said, I’m just playing off (Aldridge).”

    Oregon Live: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks Preview
    "The Mavericks beat the visiting Portland 97-94 in double overtime on Feb. 11 for their 22nd win over the Blazers in their last 29 regular-season meetings. The Blazers, though, have won five of their last nine regular-season meetings. Overall, the Blazers have a 72-58 series lead, but Dallas has a 40-26 edge at home. The teams play in Portland a week from tonight."

    Columbian: Calkins: Pardon his French, but Batum is honest
    "Was he not the one telling anyone who would listen that Luke Babbitt was the team’s best shooter, or that he — not Raymond Felton — was at fault for Monday’s critical late-game turnover, or that Portland has welcomed him as though the city were his second home? Batum may not be the most talented Blazer, and there may forever be a language barrier between him and the everyday television viewer. But it’s not hard to see that he has the purest heart on this team."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview
    "Dirk Nowitzki has recovered from his early-season nosedive and is now shooting respectable percentages and scoring 21 per game. Jason Terry, as always, is his second at 15 per game. After that the roster starts looking pale. Shawn Marion and Vince Carter average 11 and 10 respectively. Nobody else is in double digits, though to be fair Rick Carlisle plays 10 guys in the regular rotation and the shots get spread around. Still, for every bright spot like Brandan Wright and Ian Mahinmi there's an underachiever like Lamar Odom or Rodrigue Beaubois. Stack it all together and you have a good team on some nights, average on others. Still, with the Blazers like a box of chocolates (you never know what you're going to get) average might be enough."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: DeMarcus Cousins calls Blake Griffin ‘an actor’
    "But c'mon, DeMarcus. Just because Blake tends to embellish, appears in car commercials and does Funny or Die goofs, that doesn't mean he's an "actor." It's not like he's pretending to be a chicken on "Sesame Street" or anything."

    Ball Don't Lie: Dwight Howard is mad at Stan Van Gundy for telling everyone he wants him fired
    "There's something a little ridiculous about Howard getting upset that Van Gundy threw him under the bus when Howard is trying to replace him as coach. Howard can hope that everyone plays nice for the cameras, but that's a cynical approach to a situation full of distrust and animosity. There was always the potential for Van Gundy to make this information public, and if Howard thought things would go swimmingly he's pretty naive."

    Ball Don't Lie: Milwaukee Bucks forward helps man make marriage proposal (VIDEO)
    "I know who you're thinking played matchmaker — Ersan Ilyasova, right? And that's probably true, like, 98 percent of the time. In this case, though, it was Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, stalwart defensive forward, Cameroonian prince and tenderness king."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 4.6
    "Luol Deng finished his big night with 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, four steals and one block. He shot 43 percent (9-21) from the floor and 100 percent (8-8) from the free-throw line, and had one turnover. For the season, Deng has admirably produced top 50 averages for his fantasy basketball owners. His production shouldn’t be too damaged once Derrick Rose returns this weekend."

    DIME via New York Post: Report: Dwight Howard Stayed With Orlando To Avoid Trade To The Lakers
    "According to league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Orlando brass got fed up with Howard’s yes-no-maybe posturing and threatened to trade him to the Lakers, not his desired location (the Nets), if he did not sign an agreement to waive the opt-out clause for the final season of his contract. Howard eventually signed the papers, but only after he was told “he would be a Laker by the end of the day,” according to one source."

    DIME: Video: Stan Van Gundy Shows off His Handles
    "Stan Van Gundy, back in the day, could really play. He played for his dad at SUNY-Brockport, where in his senior year, he was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the entire SUNY system. And judging by this video from an Orlando Magic basketball camp, SVG still works on his handles a bit."

    SLAM: Post Up: Disappearing Act
    "Orlando fan, I don’t envy your new life. Welcome to the new world order, starring Dwight Howard. After his now well-known pre-game shenanigans with head coach Stan Van Gundy, Dwight went out and put up zero points in the first half. He finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 5 turnovers in 40 minutes of action. He only took 8 shots. Sure, Tyson Chandler bothered him all night while going for 12 and 12 of his own, but seriously, Superman—what was that? You know the Magic drama is reaching maximum levels when the always-dramatic Knicks come to town and are barely a blip on the radar screen. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 19 points, while the Magic’s leading scorer on the night was Jason Richardson (16 points). The word “strange” doesn’t even begin to describe what’s going on in Orlando right now."

    SLAM via Boston Herald: Ray Allen Requested to Come Off the Bench
    “The NBA had a small tremor last night. Avery Bradley started, which is no longer news. But the player who came off the bench in his stead, Ray Allen, was a sub for only the fifth time in his career — with last night the 1,145th game of the Celtics guard’s career. As it turns out, Allen approached Doc Rivers about making the change. The Celtics veteran could sense that a change was coming. ‘Well, people were talking about it,’ he said after the Celtics’ 93-86 loss to the Bulls. ‘It was being talked about a lot. I can’t say that it was my idea — I don’t ever want to come off the bench. But if it can help the team, and that’s what they needed me to do, then I would be up for it. At the end of the day your minutes don’t change, and that’s one thing I’m very cognizant about when I’m out there in the flow,’ said Allen."

    ESPN: Who's the Most Improved Player of the Year if the season ended today?
    "Danny Green. After playing a total of 207 minutes in his first two seasons, Green has played over 1,000 more this season. Last season, he couldn't crack the rotation on the worst team in the league. This year, he's started 24 games for the second-best team in the West. His 3-point percentage of .394 would put him safely in the top 10 of starting shooting guards who average more than 3.5 attempts per game."


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