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Around The World: June 11

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    June 11

    Trail Blazers: Mock Draft Database

    Draft Express: Pre-Draft Measurements

    Trail Blazers: 2012 NBA Draft By Position: Power Forwards
    "At the top of the list is a player that you could play at power forward, small forward or center. He is Anthony Davis, who at Kentucky looked like a center, but if on any other team he would have averaged 35 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. We will put him at #1 of the power forwards because that’s probably where Monty Williams will play him."

    Trail Blazers: Barrett's 2012 Mock Draft
    "Perhaps the best point guard in the draft, Lillard was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season. Despite having that tag, is very good at getting others involved as well. He’s also an above-average defender. There are some concerns about his injury history, especially after he missed an entire season before his junior year. His pre-draft workouts will be vital, as some have questioned the competition he faced on a nightly basis in college hoop."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Should the Trail Blazers draft Jeremy Lamb? (poll)
    "Lamb is already NBA ready in terms of off ball play and perimeter defense. UConn loves to run him off the baseline for a corner jumper that he cashes in at a good rate and his range will extend out to the NBA 3 with some practice. He needs work playing in isolation and the pick and roll, but will be just fine with his ability to take the handoff and spot up. His impact can be felt immediately with defensive gifts, length and instinctive play. He will get a lot of playing time because he is unselfish, doesn’t need the ball and can D up with the best of them."

    Oregon Live: After whirlwind few days, GM Neil Olshey poised to lead Trail Blazers into pivotal offseason
    “We are 17 days away from beginning one of the most important Trail Blazers drafts ever,” Olshey said. “Certainly the biggest since the (LaMarcus) Aldridge-(Brandon) Roy draft (in 2006). It’s time to get to work.”

    CSSNW: Ok with Perry Jones III patterning game after Kevin Durant?
    “I pattern my game after Kevin Durant,” Jones said. “I'm someone who likes to face-up and take my opponent off the dribble and I can shoot the outside shot, too. That's someone I pattern my game after.”

    CSNNW: Who Blazers like/don't like in this 2012 draft class
    " has learned the Portland Trail Blazers are high on Weber State's point guard Damian Lillard, University of Illinois' center Meyers Leonard, North Carolina's wing Harrison Barnes, and Kentucky's wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist."

    Rip City Project: Rundown of Blazers’ Draft Prospects
    "Arguably the best perimeter scorer in the draft, Beal can score from virtually anywhere on the court. His knock-down shooting ability has him pegged as sort-of a Ray Allen Jr., but his ability to handle the ball and run the point guard position also has him labeled as a tweener—exactly what the Blazers had in Jamal Crawford."

    Sports Illustrated: Draft notes: Beal distances himself from other top shooting guards
    "He was super athletic coming out of college," said Beal, who cited Allen's He Got Game movie as his all-time favorite and was quick to point out that he has always been a fan of Jesus Shuttlesworth's. "I definitely remember that. This Ray Allen is more of a catch-and-shoot guy. He doesn't really attack the basket as much as he used to do. He's still capable, but it's not the same. ... He's a shooter now."

    Columbian: Jayne: Don't fret, Blazer fans; it could be worse
    "Because Olshey's performance — he's a former soap opera actor, after all — was quietly brilliant. By saying, "Kaleb has set the bar high for anybody who would like to compete for the coaching job," Olshey was setting the bar for the organization. If the Blazers hire somebody else, then Olshey is implying that Canales' replacement is an extraordinary find for the Blazers. If Canales somehow ends up with the job, then Olshey already has told fans that the club is extremely lucky to have him."

    Indy Star: Pacers: A poor relationship is the reason Bird wants to replace Morway
    "The final straw with the Bird-Morway relationship, according to those close to the two, came during training camp when the Pacers failed to land O.J. Mayo and then lost out on free agent Jamal Crawford – option No. 2 to be the team’s first shooting guard off the bench – on the same day. The Pacers had agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that would have sent Josh McRoberts to Memphis for Mayo because the Grizzlies were trying to shed salary. Sources say it was Morway that caused the deal to “fall apart” because he pushed the Grizzlies to take swingman Brandon Rush. Morway did a lot of talking to teams and some of the negotiating. Bird would then step in and make the final decision."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Side issues should not obscure terrific Finals matchup between Thunder and Heat
    "Former Jefferson High School standout Terrence Jones is one of those players who has a chance to work his way up the draft. Jones, who entered the draft after helping Kentucky to a national title as a sophomore, is generally seen as a mid-first-rounder. But Golden State is apparently interested in taking Jones at No. 7, if he can show that he can play small forward, Bay Area News Group's Tim Kawakami writes. That could make Jones' workout today with the Warriors vital as it will also include Baylor's Perry Jones, Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick reports."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Boston Celtics? Gone till November
    "Unlike San Antonio, though, the Celtics have a real shot at rebuilding. And unlike the Spurs, they don't have a couple of All-Star level studs that are near their primes in Tony Parker and (to a lesser extent) Manu Ginobili. Unlike San Antonio, the Celtics could truly just about clear the ledger here and work with significant cap space. And finally, unlike San Antonio, Boston has a potential franchise player to build around that is years younger than Parker and possibly better when it all shakes out. Even if we (and possibly they) admit to having no idea just what sorts of players to surround the alluringly unique Rajon Rondo with."

    Ball Don't Lie: Thomas Robinson thinks he should be the No. 1 pick
    "If you wanted to check the stats, then I'd be the No. 1 pick easily -- if that's what you want to do," he said. "I should get one of those shirts. I'll get a shirt that says, 'Numbers don't lie.' I think I play with a different level than everyone else, a different intensity level," Robinson said. "I'm going to play every night -- that's not something every guy [does]. Everybody don't show up every night on a consistent basis. I think out of this group, I probably would say that I'm one of the players that do."

    Ball Don't Lie: ‘Deep Thoughts’ and Cheap Thoughts: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat
    "In terms of style of play, OKC tends to favor a more up-tempo game than the Heat, playing at the league's sixth-fastest pace this season and ranking 13th a year ago, while Miami finished 16th and 20th, respectively. Yet the Heat fared better in the two fastest-paced games between the two clubs, scoring a 98-93 win in a 93-possession April 2012 game and earning a 108-103 win in a 94-possession January 2011 affair, while the Thunder won the slower contests, notching a 16-point blowout in late March in a game played just a tick above league-average speed and an 11-point win in a comparatively glacial mid-March 2011 matchup."

    Ball Don't Lie: Freed from his school’s rules, that young Spurs fan has shaved Matt Bonner back into his head again
    "That's what San Antonio Spurs fan Patrick Gonzalez just did, and good for him for pulling it off again. Gonzalez, the 12-year-old who was threatened with an in-school suspension before deciding to shave Bonner's face off the back of his head, is back to serving as a walking tribute to the Spurs sharpshooter. And, we're guessing, distracting the dedicated summer school participants of Judson I.S.D. District by proxy, through the guesswork of the same officials that demanded he lose what might be the coolest haircut of all time."

    The Basketball Jones: Hurry up and get your NBA high heels
    "But anyway, these shoes. They exist, so we have to ask — are you going to buy them for your significant other? You could get her the microsuede pumps for $99.99, but if you are a real fan, you’ll spring for the crystallized version for $249.99. Not only are you proving how much you love the special lady in your life, you are also proving how much you love your favorite team, which is just as important."

    The Basketball Jones via Newsday: Why your team almost certainly won’t become the next OKC Thunder
    "To put the Thunder’s rapid rise into perspective, the last NBA team to make the Finals within three years of a season with a winning percentage of .280 or worse was the 1994-95 Orlando Magic, who ascended from a .256 winning percentage (21-61) in 1991-92 thanks in large part to the additions of Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway through the draft and Horace Grant through free agency. While the Thunder didn’t win back-to-back draft lotteries like the Magic did in ’92 and ’93, they did have a second overall pick in 2007, a fourth overall pick in 2008, and a third overall pick in 2009. As you’re likely well aware, they used those picks on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, respectively."

    The Basketball Jones: The college kids were super happy when they beat the Dream Team
    "As the story goes, and is confirmed here, the next day the college team didn’t score a point, which is a perfect ending to this anecdote. However, I’d never heard the stuff about shooting a ton of threes, Penny Hardaway going off to start the game and then a couple of dudes destroying a golf court by wilding out on golf carts. That’s awesome. Just a way to celebrate when you’re not really how you should be celebrating. “I guess we can just drive golf carts all crazy?” must have been the extent of that planning."

    SLAM: Andre Drummond, No. 6 (Mock)
    "Through drafting Andre Drummond, Portland would now have a guy they can play at the five. LaMarcus would be firmly secure in the power forward position he’d prefer to play. The position he’s better suited for. Playing and working alongside each other could make both players better. Especially Drummond in this opportunity to learn how to be an NBA pro from one of the best there is. They could prove to be a dynamic frontcourt one day if Drummond develops. Something that would leave Portland fans with a smile on their face, right along with Andre. A guy who’s been criticized for smiling too much, and spoke on that this week at the NBA Combine."

    ESPN: Heat-Thunder: Who will be champs?
    "Russell Westbrook versus Mario Chalmers. This should be a huge advantage for the Thunder, similar to when Westbrook outscored the Lakers' Ramon Sessions by an average of 26 to 7 in the conference semifinals. The Heat prevailed against Boston even though Rajon Rondo won the point guard matchup, but Westbrook is a more consistent scorer than Rondo. OKC needs to not only win this battle but to dominate it."

    Sports Illustrated: Roundtable: Sizing up the Finals
    "Both have shown growth. Miami is a more resilient, flexible bunch than lots of experts suggested. But it's also a team that became prone to strange defensive breakdowns against the Celtics that it cannot afford in this series. In the face of a massive injury to Bosh, coach Erik Spoelstra embraced small-ball, changed his playbook and tweaked his rotations. It didn't always work -- remember Dexter Pittman starting and the team's nightly regression into stagnancy in the half-court? -- but the Heat are here. And James, under enormous pressure, responded with perhaps the best, meanest ball of his life. The Thunder have also proved to be an adaptable lot, with coach Scott Brooks making series-changing adjustments after two losses to the Spurs and the team in general sharing the ball much more than usual in that series. Westbrook has grown as a playmaker, Durant can run a nasty high pick-and-roll and the Thunder are (mostly) running honest-to-god plays in crunch time -- some even featuring Harden, once forgotten, as the orchestrator. Their defense hasn't been great by the numbers, but it has been good enough."


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