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Around The World: April 17

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    April 17 Video: Trail Blazers 107, Suns 125 Video: Thabeet Denies Morris Video: Hickson Jams Down The Middle

    Trail Blazers: Run-and-gun Suns too much for Trail Blazers in Phoenix
    "I just wanted to attack. I just decided to be more aggressive at the offensive end but that’s not where the ball game is won. It’s won on the defensive end and we have to do a better job of playing defense," Hickson said. "Coach drew up a good defensive plan but we didn’t go out and execute it. When the Coach draws up a defensive plan like he did we have to go out and execute it. We did a horrible job at it."

    Oregon Live: With Blazers back in the NBA draft lottery, a quick primer and look at their two potential picks
    "The draft lottery rarely goes according odds, making luck the single most important thing in getting a high pick. The Blazers' recent history has two very prominent examples. In 2005-06, Portland finished a league-worst 21-61, giving them a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick. Instead, they ended up with the No. 4 pick, the very worst they could do."

    Oregon Live: Phoenix 125, Portland 107: Suns officially eliminate Trail Blazers from playoffs, lock a losing season
    "It's disappointing," Crawford said. "Very disappointing. It's been a trying season. If we can take one positive out of it, it's (that we get to) see these young guys get better and see (interim coach) Kaleb (Canales) get better each game."

    Rip City Project: Game 62 Recap: Blazers 107, Suns 125
    "To be better next season, as in make the Playoffs, Portland should be looking to rebuild with the least amount of steps possible. If the Blazers’ second unit includes Elliot Williams at the three, Luke Babbitt at the four, Jamal Crawford at the two, some as of yet unmentioned draft pick or free agent signing at the one, and Joel Przybilla at the five (Hickson/Aldridge being the starting front court), then they’re already more than half the way there. A Williams/Babbitt three/four is short to say the least, but Luke stretches the floor, and Elliot is going to be hard for anybody to guard. Also playing Luke Babbitt and Jamal Crawford together limits an opponents ability to double team, since neither guys is afraid to chuck it from where every they may be standing when they catch the ball."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers 107, Phoenix Suns 125 Recap: Steve Nash Destroys Blazers
    "Portland's second unit, led by Luke Babbitt, actually stood up for themselves against their Phoenix counterparts, guarding the inside, rebounding, and scoring enough to cut the lead to 3 midway through the period. That's when the Suns sent Nash back in. Ballgame. Phoenix took the lead back to 13 at the half and Portland never threatened in the second half. Suns win 125-107."

    CSNNW: Source: Suns will pursue G Jamal Crawford
    "Broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, John Bloom, tweeted, "Jamal Crawford just told EJ on press row and Alvin Gentry on the sidelines that he "needs to be here in Phoenix" w/ Blazer teammates nearby."

    Yahoo!: Larry Brown Interested In Vacant GM Job
    Despite engaging SMU in contract talks, Brown hasn't stopped his pursuit of the Portland Trail Blazers' vacant general manager position, sources said. Brown's true desire is to coach the Blazers, but he's trying to get team president Larry Miller to take him seriously as a front-office executive. There has been contact between the two sides, but mostly one-sided from Brown, sources said. Brown is still trying to land a formal face-to-face meeting with Blazers officials, and clearly he hoped the leverage from an SMU offer might help him.

    Bulls: Prior to awards, Smith looks at the season's biggest disappointments
    "Jamal Crawford/Ray Felton/Wes Matthews: All are having career or next to career low scoring and shooting seasons, which basically explained why Nate McMillan didn’t finish the season. As for Jamal, he never was a great shooter. But his overall average is his lowest since his rookie year and his threes are lowest ever for him at 31 percent. His overall scoring average is his lowest in 10 years."

    Ball Don't Lie: Delonte West sticks his finger in Gordon Hayward’s ear, gets T’d up, is matter-of-fact about it (VIDEO)
    "Glad to hear that Delonte has no hard feelings toward the person he aggressively/unnecessarily flung his arm at and then poked in the ear. (Also, wet Willies involve saliva pre-ear-stick, so this one ain't that.) You could definitely see why he'd harbor some resentment toward Gordon Hayward for having an innate quality that just makes Delonte West want to bully him. Something about his face, probably. Totally reasonable, and a great thing to be able to put behind us."

    Ball Don't Lie via Orange County Register: Blake Griffin is ‘definitely sick of taking hard hits’
    "I'm definitely sick of taking hard hits," Griffin said after the Clippers' shootaround Monday. There's a point, I can't remember what game it was, in my mind where I thought this is kind of ridiculous. I'm sick of it, but it's going to keep on happening. It's affected me this year a lot, especially with the referees. I'm just getting frustrated and getting myself in trouble with officials."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: LeBron James is a super nice guy
    "Hate LeBron James all you want, but it’s pretty cool that he’d use his friendship with Jay-Z to introduce one of his teammates to his favorite rapper. Players see Jay-Z in the crowd and they be saying wassup."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 4.17
    "Al Jefferson took full advantage of a triple-overtime marathon against the Mavericks, posting 28 points, 26 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in more than 54 minutes of burn. He shot 56 percent (14-25) from the floor and had one turnover. For the season, Jefferson has exceeded expectations by producing top six averages. Barring major changes in the Jazz’s roster or Jefferson’s health, he should be viewed as a first-round player in next year’s drafts."

    SLAM: Post Up: Extra Extra
    "Phoenix desperately needed this win to stay alive for a Playoff spot. Portland put Luke Babbitt and Jonny Flynn in the starting lineup. The differing agendas led to a predictable outcome, as the Suns sped out to a double-digit lead after one quarter and never looked back, riding 20 points and 10 rebounds from Marcin Gortat to the win. Steve Nash needed only three quarters to dish out 13 dimes, helping Phoenix shoot an absolutely insane 60 percent from the floor on the night. Six players scored in double figures, the Suns were up by 20 after the third and they cruised to win No. 4 over their last 6 games. JJ Hickson and Jamal Crawford each scored 22 points to lead the Blazers. PDX is clearly a different team without Aldridge, Felton and Batum."

    ESPN: Contenders or pretenders?
    "Contender. Kevin Garnett looks a lot more mobile than he did earlier this year, and the Avery Bradley discovery has done wonders for a team than can now bring the best shooter to ever live off the bench. It's hard to believe they could beat both Miami and Chicago, but if they don't have to, as one NBA champion said, anything is possssssibbbbllllleeeee."


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