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Around The World: August 22

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    August 22 Video: Meet BlazerDancer Lisa

    Trail Blazers: Thorpe: Why Damian Lillard Could Win Rookie Of The Year
    "By bringing in offensive guru Terry Stotts, there's no doubt in my mind that Lillard's light will be constantly green. And regardless of the number of points he puts up or wins he's apart of, one intangible factor will decide whether or not Lillard is destined to be mentioned in the same breathe as Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook. Does he make his teammates better or not? A lot of people around the league are bringing up the fact that Lillard has the likes of Aldridge, Batum, and Matthews to lean on to make him not only a better player but his transition into the NBA a smoother one. But what if it's Lillard who makes like easier for everyone else?"

    Trail Blazers: Meet BlazerDancer Lisa
    “The most fun I had was the last game where we did the group services dance with the ushers. That was a lot of fun,” Lisa said. “We would see them at the games all the time so we have a little bit of a relationship with them and then seeing them during practice and they were all so into it and having so much fun, it was so cute."

    ESPN: Breaking down ROY candidates
    "If he gets the green light to make plays, like John Wall, Westbrook, Rose and Kyrie Irving, then undoubtedly we'll see a great number of stellar scoring and passing nights from Lillard. Next to a post presence like LaMarcus Aldridge and veterans like Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews, Lillard will be able to generate offense through his teammates more than most rookies will be given the chance to. This means his chances at scoring more efficiently are strong. He has the potential to average 16 points and six assists per game with a steal or so thrown in there, too. And though he's not the shooter Irving is, with the weapons around him Lillard can get enough open looks from deep to possibly average better than 35 percent."

    ESPN: Forecast: 2012-13 Rookie of the Year
    "#2 Damian Lillard: 10 Votes"

    Sheridan Hoops: Mitnick: Coming to America — The NBA’s International Rookies
    "The ceiling for Claver may never be as high as many thought when he was selected 22nd in 2009 after suffering a serious ankle injury a couple years ago, but he is ready to contribute immediately. He can shoot, rebound and is a solid defender but doesn’t excel enough in one particular area to make him a standout player. He may not be a player to create for himself, but he knows how to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him throughout a game. A veteran of the Spanish National team, Claver won’t be the type of player to change Portland’s luck, but he can be relied upon to play in high pressure situations if need be."

    Bleacher Report: Why Damian Lillard Will Challenge Anthony Davis for Rookie of the Year
    "Like the ability to surprise, an aesthetically pleasing game matters a lot in these award races. Lillard is slick with his movements, and the ball is usually in his hands. At his best, he conjures visions of Allen Iverson, with his ability to throw corpus at contact. With his PnR deftness, he can—at best—conjure visions of Steve Nash. While it is unlikely that he'll display such a high level of facility at the pro level, his college and Summer League success speak to nice potential."

    Blazersedge: The Greatest Trade the Portland Trail Blazers Ever Made
    "The guys in red and black traded away their original franchise hero, guard Geoff Petrie. Petrie shared Rookie of the Year honors with Boston's Dave Cowens in Portland's inaugural '70-'71 season. He scored 25 per game that year and would near that plateau in 3 of his 6 seasons as a Blazer. There was no NBA three-point shot back in those days or you could have added another 3-4 ppg to that total. Petrie could shoot. Legend has it that a Blazer official once went to snag rebounds for Petrie in practice but found his hands empty, as Petrie could make the shot in such a way that the ball bounced back into his hands after leaving the net every time. Though he was still averaging 19 per game when the end of the '75-'76 season rolled around injuries were taking a toll. The Blazers knew enough to sell high and they shipped Petrie plus F-C Steve (not Spencer) Hawes to the Atlanta Hawks for the rights to the second pick in that year's dispersal draft for the now-defunct American Basketball Association."

    Hardwood Paroxysm: The Rookie Extension and the Race Against Time
    "This approach is not without risk. Dangling a star in trade talks before he publicly asks for a trade could make the entire proposition something of a self-fulfilling prophecy—if he sees that he isn’t wanted, he may want out even if he didn’t before. In the case of Aldridge, he has so far said all the right things about being willing to stay the course through Portland’s rebuilding effort. If the Blazers were to start dangling him in trade talks within the next 18 months, they would run the risk of alienating him from the organization and diminishing his eagerness to see the rebuild through. But that rebuild is only a few blown draft picks or ill-advised free-agent signings from collapsing, and it will be difficult for him to justify signing on to waste the rest of his prime on another half-decade of 35-win teams. And this is where the problem lies for the Blazers: With the exception of Rajon Rondo (and, I suppose, LeBron James), Aldridge probably has the best contract of any elite player in the league. He’s making between $13 and 16 million per year for the remaining three seasons on his deal, which makes him extremely attractive to teams looking to add a franchise-caliber star without completely tying up their cap. This combined with the significant amount of team control left on the contract should mean Portland would get a return comparable to what the Jazz got for Williams, should they decide to move him."

    Trail Blazers: Blog Contest: Which Ticket Plan Is Right For You?
    "Do you prefer the marquee matchups the Big Games Plan entails, the bang for your buck the Value Plan provides, seeing rivalries old and new, rekindled with the Rivals Plan, or maybe your schedule dictates that the Weekend Plan is the option for you? Blog about which ticket plan you would choose and why. If your blog is chosen as the best, you’ll be the new recipient of two, lower-bowl tickets to ANY Trail Blazers home game this season!"

    Ball Don't Lie via Sports Radio Interviews: George Karl thinks the Nuggets will become a top-four team by running like crazy
    "We have gotten higher at times and then we haven't gotten as high as we wanted at times, but expectations and excellence is defined by the fan and/or the sportswriter and/or the commentators, like you guys on the radio. We can't do anything about that. We are excited about this season and we think we can be a top four team in the West. If we get to [be] a top four team in the West, we should expect to try to win the first round and see what happens after that."

    Ball Don't Lie via ESPN: Lakers center Robert Sacre was the only one without a number at the NBA’s rookie photo shoot
    "Dwight took my No. 12 that I was wearing in the Summer League. I can't argue with that. That's what happens when you have seniority," said Sacre, who has agreed to switch to No. 6 for the Lakers. "I'm OK with all of this. I just want to get back on the court."

    Ball Don't Lie: Players we want back: Gerald Green
    "Dynamic athlete" shouldn't matter right now. What we're looking at, as Green hits age 27 midway through the season following a year that he nailed a very nice 39 percent of his three-pointers last year, is the potential for a well-rounded guard. The hope that the NBA's highest leaper could roam the baselines and destroy defenders on impact based solely on his legs has long gone — that part of Green's game didn't translate. What appears to be in the midst of carrying over from this time spent on the fringes, and we're giddy as we write this, is the idea that Gerald Green can turn into a well-rounded all-around player at shooting guard."

    Ball Don't Lie: Players we want back: Tyreke Evans
    "First, the excuses. Systematically, Evans was doomed to level off. The man was given carte blanche in high school and in college at Memphis (playing all three perimeter positions along the way), allowed to gun at will and dish when he saw fit; not particularly selfish, just ill-equipped to contribute without the ball in his hands. That carried over in Sacramento as former Kings coach Paul Westphal saw a potential star he could cling to should the inevitable lottery team coaching shift hit yet again. Not unlike a desperate college or high school coach, thinking recruit-first and postseason wisdom secondly, Westphal allowed Evans to continue unabated. The results speak for themselves. Kevin Loughery, Stan Albeck, and Paul Silas pushed their respective stars during their rookie year and beyond. Westphal's hole was too deep to dig out of."

    The Basketball Jones: Is Kyle Singler a human Conan O’Brien poster?
    "This is one of Kyle Singler’s images from yesterday’s rookie photo shoot. I just have one question, which you see in the title and are surely wondering for yourself — is Kyle Singler the human embodiment of the famous “I’m With Coco” posters that flooded the internet following Conan O’Brien’s ouster from “The Tonight Show?"

    The Basketball Jones: Anthony Davis went eyebrow-heavy on his hand-drawn rookie cards
    "I know he’s trademarked these two sayings and that he’s known for his unibrow and that the top picture kind of looks like the cover of “The Great Gatsby,” but don’t you think Anthony Davis is in danger of just becoming his unibrow? He’s embraced the look so completely that that’s become his defining characteristic, rather than the fact he’s potentially a franchise-changing center. Very, very weird. You don’t see James Harden reminding everyone he has the best beard in the league every chance he gets. I’m just worried for him, that’s all. (Also, Anthony Davis has no idea how to draw a basketball.)"

    The Basketball Jones via Dallas Morning News: Mark Cuban says he almost traded for Kobe Bryant during ‘Dancing with the Stars’
    “When I was doing Dancing with the Stars, I was taking breaks because I was talking to Kobe’s agent because Kobe wanted to get traded,” Cuban explained on the Ben and Skin Show on 103.3 [KESN-FM]. “Literally, between Dancing with the Stars practices I had thought we traded for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner and thought we were going to have done deal, and [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak changed [Kobe’s] mind and brought him back.”

    DIME via ESPN: The Curious Case Of The Dallas Mavericks
    “I’m not going to trade [Dirk],’ Cuban said Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Ben and Skin Show. Of course, Cuban wouldn’t want to deal Dirk. And the Mavs couldn’t pull the trigger on a trade involving Nowitzki without his permission anyway, considering that his contract includes one of the two no-trade clauses in the NBA. But what if Nowitzki requested to be moved to a contender for the twilight of his prime? ‘Maybe I’d have the conversation,’ Cuban said. ‘But I know Dirk; he wouldn’t.’”

    DIME: Dime Q&A: Bradley Beal On NBA Expectations & His NBA 2K13 Rating
    "A part of me didn’t want to leave. Our team this year is going to be like the same. We lost two people: me and Erving Walker. It was hard for me to come out because I wanted to go back because we had a great team this year. But I knew I had to leave. I know those guys will probably do well this year. I’m pretty sure they’ll probably win a national championship this year. Don’t quote me on it, but in my opinion I think they will."

    SLAM via Fox Sports Southwest: Mark Cuban: Mavs Better Off Without Deron Williams
    “I think we’re in better position now then we would’ve been if we’d gotten him.” Wait. What? ”I don’t want to pick on Deron Williams because he’s a great, great, great, great player, so it’s not necessarily him per se,” Cuban said. “Obviously the decision was to go for him. But the conversation was, ‘OK, once you take $17.1 million in salary to what we have with Dirk and [Shawn Marion], then what do you do?’ That’s your squad. And it’s not just your squad for this year, it’s your squad for next year, other than the $3.3 million mini mid-level [exception]. ”So, that was a challenge that we had because we want to win."

    Sports Illustrated: In defense of Mark Cuban: Making sense of the Mavs’ difficulties
    "It’s true that Williams and Nowitzki are two of the top dozen or so players in the league, and they would have complemented each other in powerful ways. It’s also true that Shawn Marion is still on the books for 2013-14, and in this scenario, he would have provided his usual combination of defense, positional versatility, smarts and ugly/pretty floaters. But Marion and Nowitzki are in various stages of age-related decline, and filling out a championship roster around this core would have been very difficult in the short-term. Things would have lightened up in the summer of 2014, when Marion’s contract comes off the books, and you can bet that Dallas had plans to use cap space on one star or two solid veterans to form a proper championship roster."

    Trail Blazers: Weekend Plan: Specially Designed For Families And The Busy Nine-To-Fiver
    "Built for the family-oriented fan with a busy work-week, the 12-game Weekend Pack maximizes the thrill-factor while keeping the competitions to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A smattering of Western Conference rivals and Eastern Conference visitors during one-offs and key home stands, you can get your hands on this schedule-friendly pack for as low as $11/game and $52/game in the lower bowl."

    Trail Blazers: The Rivals Plan: Two LAs, Oklahoma City And The Return Of Roy
    "The smallest of the four big ticket plans, the eight game Rivals Pack packs a big punch. You’ll be in the building and eating a corndog while others are wondering how to get their hands on a way to see the return of Brandon Roy and the sure to sell out L.A. Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder."

    Trail Blazers: Why The Value Plan Makes 'Cents' For You
    "The Value Pack starts at just $5 a game. That’s 12 games for as low as $60! Talk about some serious bang for your buck. But that’s not even the best part about this ticket plan. Four of the 12 games take place in the month of January. And there is absolutely no better place to be during an Oregon winter’s night than inside the raucous Rose Garden. Not to mention this pack gets you into the arena to see some of the league’s biggest names and brightest young stars such as Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, and Rudy Gay."

    Trail Blazers: Big Games Plan: 12 Of The Biggest Games
    "This game has it all. Season opener, at home, against the loathe-inducing Lakers, in Steve Nash's first game in purple and gold and it's on Halloween night! Any game against the Lakers at the Rose Garden is going to be a lively one, but the confluence of circumstances in this particular game sets the stage for one of the all-time season openers in Trail Blazers history."


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