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Around The World: May 10

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

    May 10 Video: Trail Blazers Top 10 Steals

    Trail Blazers: Hollinger: Trail Blazers Understand Restricted Free Agency
    "Exactly. Why negotiate against yourself? Restricted free agency gives you the option of letting the market, not the player, his agent, or even the team, set the price. There are rare situations -- the Wesley Matthews' restricted free agency with Utah, for instance -- in which a team can get burned by not locking up a player in advance of the free agent signing period, but when you've got cap room and a desire to re-sign said player, as the Trail Blazers currently do, there's little to no benefit of NOT going into restricted free agency."

    Oregon Live: Blazers interview Pacers executive David Morway for GM position
    "Morway has worked closely with Pacers president Larry Bird to rebuild Indiana into one of the Eastern Conference's better teams. The Pacers finished behind Chicago and Miami for the third best record in the East and have advanced to the second round, where they will face the Heat. The rebuild has been via draft picks (Roy Hibbert in 2008, Tyler Hansbrough in 2009 and Paul George in 2010), trades (acquired Darren Collison, George Hill, Leandro Barbosa), and free agency (David West). In the process, the Pacers have been financially prudent, and stand to be under the salary cap entering this summer, making them a major player in free agency."

    NY Daily News: NY Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is fired up to bring Steve Nash to Madison Square Garden
    "One dark horse team could be the Portland Trail Blazers, the nearest NBA city to Nash’s hometown of Vancouver. Nash has several business interests in Vancouver, including ownership in the Major League Soccer team there, and playing for the Trail Blazers would make sense personally and professionally for him."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews: From undrafted to draft lottery representative
    "The Blazers have selected Matthews to represent the organization at the May 30 draft lottery in New York, where the team will learn which and how many picks it will have in the June 28 draft held in Newark, N.J. "I don’t have much luck with the draft,’’ Matthews quipped. “Hopefully, karma will come back full circle.’’

    Oregon Live: Article provides insights on Greg Oden, but leaves much up for debate
    "I can say with 100 percent certainty that Greg felt the Portland administration and medical staff, from (President) Larry (Miller) all the way down, had Greg's best interest at heart," Conley said. "I felt they had his best interests at heart. And I know Greg had a great relationship with Jay."

    Oregon Live: You Be The GM: Kurt Thomas
    "Through the first two months of the season, he did just that. Prior to the All-Star break Thomas appeared in all 34 games (including three starts), coming off the bench to average 16.3 minutes, nearly four rebounds and knocking down at least one of his signature elbow jumpers per game."

    Blazersedge: Transcript:'s Mark Titus Talks Greg Oden Interview On 1080 AM The Fan
    "They certainly did a few things, there was a bit about the psychologist in the article that he was less than thrilled with. But I think he understands that the fans treated him very well and were very welcoming and in a lot of places he would have been booed the second he got hurt. Portland fans were always behind him and the front office could have cut him loose much earlier than what they did and I think he's grateful for that. Like any boss -- employer/employee relationship -- there's probably a little tension that was there but I don't think there was anything damning that would make him look bad."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Locaton, veganism, soccer could make Blazers a player for Steve Nash
    "Now that would be an interesting dynamic. Nash, an owner of the Whitecaps, would play in a city full of devout Timbers fans, and have his checks signed by Paul Allen, who owns a stake in the Seattle Sounders."

    Ball Don't Lie: Behind the Box Score, where the Miami Heat have cleared the first hurdle
    "James is almost starting to look like Julius Erving, but with some odd Kevin Garnett-ish mixture of defensive know-how mixed in. He's not some outright scorer, a Jordan or Kobe bent on taking down an entire defensive scheme even with all eyes fixated on him. He can, and has, but often doesn't peer over the defense, picking out teammates over and over again like Magic Johnson. His team, though top-heavy with Wade and Chris Bosh (19 points, seven rebounds, zero turnovers in his start at center), isn't good enough for that."

    Ball Don't Lie: The New York Knicks? Gone Till November
    "The best the Knicks could do would be to offer Nash their non-taxpayer mid-level exception, a contract starting at $5 million, and Nash could likely do better elsewhere. Plus, if the Knicks target Nash with their MLE, it's all but certain they'll lose Lin, which would be borderline unthinkable given the potential for growth and development (and, sure, marketing and sales) inherent in the 23-year-old point guard. (Provided he's allowed to run things off ball screens and not just dump the ball into the bully block for 'Melo 35 times a game, per Woodson's instructions, but I digress.) It seems much more likely that the Knicks re-up Lin with the mid-level and say goodbye to the dreams of Nash running point, especially now that D'Antoni's not the Knicks' coach, considering the financial constraints within which Grunwald will be operating this offseason."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeremy Lin is making the right choice by sitting, even though it stinks
    "Like 99 percent of Jeremy Lin's offense was playing Chicken — driving straight at a defender, daring him to either give way or hammer this unusual thing heading straight for him, and then seeing what would happen. You can't play that way without confidence and, yes, faith that you're going to pull through it. If that's not there, then he's not there, and he can't be himself. And if he can't be himself — setting aside the fact that Lin-as-self had a freakin' miserable night the one time he played this Miami defense — then what the hell are we even talking about?"

    The Basketball Jones: James Harden is your 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year
    "Justifying this vote is pointless, since he’s been one of the best players in the league this season, regardless of rotation quirks. Harden led all bench players in scoring and was second to Manu Ginobili in PER, while playing nearly twice as many games as his Argentinean likeness. He’s, at worst, the third-best player on the Western Conference’s second-best team and he’s often their best player. He’s got the best beard in the league even though his mom wants him to shave. He might be dating Trina. It’s been a good year."

    The Basketball Jones: JaVale McGee’s mom caught the ball he chucked in the stands
    "We live in a world where there are more cellphones than humans and a lot of those cellphones have video cameras, so there has to be video of this somewhere. We need to see it. For all of JaVale McGee’s lowlights and head-scratching plays, if we get a chance to peep him throwing a ball deep in to the stands right to his mom who catches the ball and then mean mugs like she’s in an early-2000s Cash Money Records video, all is forgiven. Something like that could win every ESPY in existence. Please upload this."

    DIME: Crazy 8′s: How Each 8-over-1 Playoff Upset Was Won
    "The series-clinching Game 6 win put it away, and was huge for the second reason that Gary Neal and his buzzer-beating three had just punched Memphis in the gut to force overtime (a Spurs win) in Game 5. But before the series got to six, Game Three was enormous. Every upset series needs the second win, a confirmation victory. The first could be by chance. A second is something different. Game Three, after Memphis’ lead dwindled from 11 to a tie, was broken by Z-Bo in his first three of his playoff career in the game’s final minute. A series-changing, and defining, bucket."

    DIME: The Pacers Celebrate Birthdays For Paul George & George Hill At Disney World
    "In no surprise to anyone, the higher-seeded Indiana Pacers defeated the Orlando Magic in the first round on Tuesday night. The Pacers definitely wanted to close out the series and get some rest before the second round, but a number of Pacer players already got in some fun and relaxation while in Orlando for Games 3 and 4. While in Orlando, Kyrylo Fesenko and Dahntay Jones took part in a joint birthday celebration for George Hill and Paul George at Disney World."

    SLAM: Post Up: No More New York
    "After 11 days of doing the opposite, Memphis finally looked like that badass, scrappy title contender that we had envisioned before they got all soft and weird in the first part of this series. Not only did the Grizzlies stay alive, drubbing the Clippers, 92-80, they looked like they finally showed up for the Playoffs."

    SLAM via Lakers: Kobe Bryant Misses Shootaround Prior to Game 6 With Gastroenteritis
    “Lakers guard Kobe Bryant missed Thursday morning’s shootaround ahead of Game 6 with gastroenteritis. We’ll know more about his status for the contest this evening about 90 minutes before tip off when the team’s PR staff or head coach Mike Brown provides an update on his condition. Bryant has a history of playing through injuries and ailments particularly in playoff games, but the team will refrain from speculating until seeing how he feels prior to the game."

    ESPN: What should we watch most closely in Lakers-Nuggets Game 6?
    "Andrew Bynum's focus. When Bynum's on, the Nuggets don't have anyone to stop him. But when he talked about how easy close-out games were, Bynum provided bulletin board fodder for a desperate team. We can debate about how much that inspired Denver as opposed to the prospect of the Nuggets' desperately trying to fend off the offseason, but if the Lakers want to take care of business in six games, Bynum has to be all business in Game 6."


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