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Around The World: May 22

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    May 22 Video: Trail Blazers Courtside

    Trailblazers: 2012 Mock Draft Database

    Trail Blazers: Buchanan Discusses New Jersey Predraft Workouts
    "I think in general, we're trying to improve our team," said Buchanan. "Whether that's using our pick to acquire a veteran -- we're open to that. But we also like this draft enough that we're open to adding two young players or however many it ends up being. If it's players we like and believe in, we're open to adding some young pieces to the team as well. Best way to put it is we want to leave all doors open at this point, whether it's a veteran or a combination of a veteran and a couple young players."

    Oregon Live: Five years after hitting the draft lottery jackpot, Trail Blazers looking for another franchise-changer
    "With a little luck, maybe they come away from the May 30 drawing with two first-round picks. Maybe they'd trade one or both for a star. Maybe they'd spend the picks on great players in another unusually strong draft. Either way, just like in 2007, there is potential for a franchise-changer.

    CSNNW: Source: Hawks denied Blazers permission to speak with Rick Sund
    "Now that the Hawks' season is over, a source tells that “Sund to the Trail Blazers is not in his plans.” Sund and Hawks' ownership are in talks about re-signing being that his current deal expires June 30 and I've been told that retirement is strong possibility."

    CSNNW: GM News: Blazers to conduct more interviews this week; Chris Mullin not a candidate
    "A source close to the situation told that Chris Mullin is not a candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers general manger position. "

    CSNNW: Armon Johnson was shocked Blazers let him go, but revitalized career in New Jersey
    “It was tough. It hurt. I wasn't crying or anything like that, but it was just so unexpected,” Johnson told “I had to understand that this is a business and it's nothing personal. It was tough, though.”

    Sports Illustrated: Michael Malone, Brian Shaw among possible Van Gundy replacements
    "The Magic's situation will likely have a ripple effect on the rest of the league if they move quickly. Among the possible ripples: Portland, which has interviewed Bower and Morway, now has incentive to expedite its general manager search and move on to its coaching search too; the Bobcats -- who have also talked with former Magic assistant Patrick Ewing, former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, St. John's associate head coach Mike Dunlap, Cavaliers assistant Nate Tibbetts and Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger -- can't take their time now either; and there are signs that Wittman may be on the way out in Washington, meaning the Wizards might want to make up their minds sooner rather than later."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: One Dwight Howard-to-Nets trade scenario would be bad news for Trail Blazers
    "There's a trade scenario for Howard that could really hurt the Trail Blazers. If Brooklyn (still getting used to that) lands a top-three spot in next week's draft lottery, it could send the pick to Orlando in a package for Howard, Sheridan writes. The pick is the top-three protected spot the Nets sent to Portland to get Gerald Wallace. The problem for Portland is if the Nets do get a top-three pick, the pick the Blazers get becomes deferred to next year, when it is top-two protected. If the Nets land Howard and in turn convince Deron Williams (and maybe Wallace, who has a player option for next season) to stay, they could conceivably have a pretty good team. "

    Ball Don't Lie: Behind the Box Score, where a special Oklahoma City Thunder team is moving on
    "James Harden, by far, managed his best shooting night of the series — coming through with 16 points on 10 shots, a well-deserved payoff after he kept his wits about him and defense active in a second round that he could have let slip away. Not only was Harden missing chippies in the lane earlier in this series, as the Lakers clearly made his penetration a point of order, but he had the misfortune of having to guard the great Kobe Bryant for long stretches of play, rarely getting the benefit of the whistle along the way. Harden could have pouted, or forced things, but instead he came through with a steady, determined level of effort that thankfully paid off in Game 5. A remarkable and warming brand of professionalism from the third-year guard."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers? Gone till November
    "Worse for the Lakers is these stars' inability to play well alongside each other. Bryant and Gasol don't get along. Gasol doesn't respect Kobe's shot-first tendencies, especially when Kobe played for so long and so successfully in the triangle offense, and Bryant can't understand why Gasol can't hit the same sort of face up jump shot off a pick and pop that so many of his international contemporaries can. Meanwhile, Bynum's effort level fades at times, and even when he is engaged Bryant's reputation as some sort of fourth quarter closer makes it so Bynum rarely sees the ball in a patient Laker possession (because, yes Laker fans, it is possible to get the ball to Drew when he's being fronted) in the final minutes of a contest."

    Ball Don't Lie: A closer look at a big night for Brandon Bass, who ate well because Rajon Rondo kept feeding him
    "That was especially true during a third-quarter explosion that saw Bass hit 6 of 7 field-goal attempts and make all six of his free throws for a total of 18 points. That's the highest-scoring quarter for a single player this postseason and, as's John Schuhmann noted, just the fifth time a player has scored at least 15 points in one frame during these playoffs, putting Bass alongside LeBron James (who scored 17 in the fourth quarter of Game 3 against the New York Knicks and 16 in the fourth quarter of Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers), Tony Parker (16 in the fourth quarter of Game 3 against the Utah Jazz) and the man for whom Bass was traded this past offseason, Glen Davis (16 in the second quarter of Game 3 against the Pacers)."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kevin Garnett takes a little shot at Philadelphia’s ‘fair-weather fans.’ His words, not ours (VIDEO)
    "And Philadelphia, though we know they love their Sixers, has ranked in the mid-to-low 20s (out of 30 teams) in terms of attendance for the last half decade, with a massive jump up (to 13th) hitting in 2011-12. Then you toss in the fact that most of the team's games start at 7 in the evening, which doesn't leave the typical working fan the time to turn around and make it to the team's arena by tip-off, and the most ardent of League Pass watchers will tell you that they rarely tune into that midseason Sixers/Nets game to see the lower bowl full by the time Doug Collins calls his first exasperated timeout."

    Ball Don't Lie: Russell Westbrook hit an impossible and-one shot to beat the Lakers (VIDEO)
    "The clear highlight of the night was the play above, available for your viewing pleasure courtesy of our friends at the Yahoo! Sports Minute. With just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter and the score tied 70-70, Westbrook stole a pass from Ramon Sessions and jetted in the other direction. Sessions caught up with him for a foul 15 feet from the basket, but Westbrook's underhand desperation shot attempt banked off the backboard and through the basket. The three-point play started a 23-7 run for OKC that essentially decided the game and series. Westbrook seemed to recognize the importance at the time, too, as he followed up the shot with a ridiculously intense celebration."

    The Basketball Jones: 2012 NBA Draft: Eastern Conference needs
    "This offseason is going to be an interesting one for the Nets with the re-signing of Deron Williams being the ultimate focus for the team. There aren’t many incumbents definitely moving to Brooklyn, but the team is likely to re-sign Brook Lopez and are hoping that Gerald Wallace re-signs along with D-Will. However, since the free agency period doesn’t happen until a few days afterward, the Nets have to deal with what they have and that’s their low draft pick. In all likelihood, they’ll take the best player available regardless of position, just to increase their talent pool. Of course, if you believe the NBA Draft Lottery conspiracies, the Nets will win it and be awarded with the first overall pick, which would mean Anthony Davis representing Brooklyn. Nets fans can only hope, but D-Will re-signing is still top priority."

    The Basketball Jones: On the San Antonio Spurs’ continued greatness
    "San Antonio seeks out these role players, and get them comparatively cheaply, because there is ultimately nothing special about them. Danny Green can’t do anything that hundreds of other wing players can’t do. He shoots well, but they are mostly catch-and-shoots. He plays good defense, but locks nobody down. He passes well, but merely moves the ball and runs no offense. Gary Neal handles it sufficiently, shoots it well, yet does nothing remarkable. Matt Bonner has two moves — the jumpshot, and the up-fake-to-clumsy-drive countermove. Yet on the Spurs, they have become high caliber role players, guys who do a few things right, no things wrong, and fit perfectly within a simple but clinical offense designed to fit their needs. Because that’s Spurs basketball."

    SLAM: Working Toward The Spotlight
    “I love playing defense, that’s my thing,” MKG went on to tell me during a break in the session. “I feel like I’m a guy who can guard [positions] 1 through 4 in the NBA. Offensively, I believe I can play the 2 or 3 in the NBA too, and I’m just working hard in order to prepare myself for that. I’m working on my shooting, off the dribble stuff, and ball handling too, in addition to just working to get stronger and improve all areas of my game every day.”

    SLAM via NBA: NBA Announces 2011-12 All-Rookie Teams
    “The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving, the 2011-12 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio headline the 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today. Irving was the lone unanimous selection. Joining Irving (58 points) and Rubio (49 points) on the NBA All-Rookie First Team are Denver’s Kenneth Faried (46 points), Golden State’s Klay Thompson (43 points), New York’s Iman Shumpert (40 points), San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (40 points) and Detroit’s Brandon Knight (40 points).”

    SLAM via Bergen Record: Deron Williams Remains Undecided on Free Agency Choice
    “Deron Williams is tired of all the speculation surrounding his uncertain future. So Tuesday, unprompted, he walked up to reporters and started talking. The message was simple. Williams says he hasn’t made up his mind on what he’ll do after he opts out of his contract on July 1. ‘I want to reiterate, I don’t know what I’m doing next year,’ Williams said. ‘Still. Nobody does but me. Not even my mom, my brother, my uncle, my cousin. I haven’t talked to anybody about where I’m going next year.’ "

    SLAM via Yahoo!: Kobe Bryant: Lakers Are ‘Not Going Anywhere’
    “It’s kind of unfamiliar territory,” Bryant said after midnight and after the Thunder beat the Lakers 106-90 on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena and 4-1 in the series. “I’m really not used to it. It’s pretty odd for me. I’m not the most patient of people and the organization’s not extremely patient either. We want to win and win now. I’m sure we’ll figure it out. We always have and I’m sure we will again.” Pressed about being a veteran team that had just been knocked out of the playoffs by the youthful Thunder, Bryant said: “I’m not fading into the shadows, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m not going anywhere.” “The entire team…” a reporter began the follow-up question. “We’re not going anywhere,” Bryant interrupted. “It’s not one of those things where the Bulls beat the Pistons and the Pistons disappeared forever. I’m not going for that (stuff).”

    SLAM: Post Up: Thunder Supreme
    "OKC did a fantastic job neutralizing the Lakers bigs in Game 5, with wonderful performances from Perkins, Ibaka and Nick Collison. Pau Gasol had 14 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks but only converted five field goals on 14 attempts. Andrew Bynum was disappointing, adding 10 points on 4-10 shooting and 4 rebounds. Perkins had 11 rebounds and two blocks and Collison added 6 boards. “They did the things that don’t show up in the stats and led us to a series win,” Durant said of the Thunder post players."

    ESPN LA: Andrew Bynum unsure of future
    "I'm not sure," Bynum said after a lackluster, foul-plagued performance in the Lakers' 106-90 loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. "It really doesn't matter to me. I'll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and an OK postseason, so we'll see."


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