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News From Around The World: September 11

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

    September 11

    Trail Blazers TV: September 10 Trail Blazers Courtside

    Trail Blazers: Lowe: "... it’s time for something more than tiny incremental progress" from Batum and Matthews
    "Putting Aldridge's happiness on the shoulders of Batum and Matthews seems like a bit much, but there's no question that, if the Trail Blazers are to be more than a middling Western Conference team, both have to take that next step. "

    Blazersedge: Transcript: Coach Terry Stotts Interviewed On Blazers Courtside
    "I want to try almost everything that we did with Dirk, with LaMarcus, to get a comfort level. On the left block he's as good of a block player as there is in the league. A pick-and-pop shooter for a big man, he's almost on the same level as Dirk with mid-range. Dirk can take it out a little bit further, or at least he has. I'd like to expand his game a little bit. We would isolate Dirk at the free throw line, it's very difficult for guys to double-team in that area. It creates a problem. That's one area that we can explore with LaMarcus and expand his game in that way. He's 27 years old and can improve. He's already an All-Star and he can still improve. Stretching his range, I don't know if he's a 3-point shooter, but putting him in the corner, I think he can make corner threes. I don't necessarily want to emphasize that but he's capable of that."

    Blazersedge: Transcript: Blazers GM Neil Olshey Interviewed On KGW
    "I thought he played well [in the 2012 London Olympics for France]. He struggled against Team USA a little bit early but you've got to remember he didn't go against contact until four days before the Olympics because of his contractual situation. He was basically dummy offense and drill work. It took him a little while to get a rhythm. I thought he played well, he made shots, he rebounded, he was very good defensively. I think he's going to make a big jump. I think Terry is going to be good for him. He's 23 years old. Nic's a kid. He, Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, a lot of the guys, that signed big contracts this summer, the level of expectations is going to increase. I think Nic's going to embrace it. It was one of the reasons we were so anxious to embrace the offer sheet. When we met with Nic prior to him signing it, that was something he really wanted. He wanted to embrace being one of the leaders on the team. Having more responsibility on both ends of the ball."

    The Hoop Doctors: Are LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum Enough to Land Blazers in Playoffs?
    "Because ultimately, that’s going to be the Blazers’ biggest downfall—inexperience and uncertainty. Only Aldridge’s production is guaranteed. Lillard isn’t a lock to become an immediate star-studded floor general capable of running a dynamic offensive attack. Leonard isn’t guaranteed to help spread the floor further and take some much needed pressure off Aldridge in the low post. And most importantly, Batum isn’t guaranteed to put up gaudy stat lines on his way to becoming one of the most versatile small forwards in the game."

    Sports Illustrated: Rudy Gay, John Wall and other players already on notice for 2012-13 season
    "Portland is paying more than $18 million combined to Batum and Matthews in each of the next two seasons, which is too much based on their respective records of NBA play — and enough to take Portland out of big-name free agency chases in each of the next two summers as things stand now (once you factor in likely team options and future picks). Both are solid role players, but neither has progressed much at creating offense with the ball, something that has left an enormous burden on LaMarcus Aldridge and could place one upon Damian Lillard immediately. Matthews’ shooting percentage on close shots fell off dramatically as he tried to go it alone more last season. Almost all available statistics paint Batum as a minus on defense despite his general look as a long-armed menace capable of guarding four positions, though the lineup jumbling that Gerald Wallace’s acquisition and departure forced probably had something to do with those numbers. Regardless: If Portland wants to keep Aldridge happy, it’s time for something more than tiny incremental progress from these two."

    Timberwolves: All Access: Roy Begins Wolves Workouts
    “You’re talking about a guy who can shoot it in every possible way off the dribble, on the block, threes, on the move, whatever,” Adelman said. “It’s really fun to watch. He’s always had a solid handle. He doesn’t over-dribble, but he dribbles with purpose.”

    Ball Don't Lie: JaVale McGee tries to give away 10 free burritos, falls short of goal, comes back undaunted with free noodle offer
    "The surest way for McGee to earn a place in Nuggets fans' hearts will be to fulfill the promise that no less a pivot-play authority than Hakeem Olajuwon sees in him, becoming a dominant center that leads a go-go Denver team deep into the postseason year in and year out. That, however, will take time. The fastest way to their hearts is, as always, through their stomachs, which is why Pierre's alter ego tried to show 10 fans that, economists be damned, there is such a thing as a free lunch."

    Ball Don't Lie: Patrick Ewing, currently jobless, turned down a chance to coach New York’s D-League affiliate
    "The initial reaction to news that Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing was miffed at the suggestion that he coach New York's D-League affiliate was typical, and not without merit. Ewing, who for years has assisted on coaching staffs headed by Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, isn't owed an NBA head coaching spot. A gig as a head man in the D-League is no minor accomplishment, and it would give 30 potential NBA teams a chance to evaluate Ewing's skills at the top of the bench. Add in the New York angle, with former teammate Allan Houston serving as GM of the Erie Bayhawks and reportedly offering Ewing the job, and you would think the hiring would be a logical move, and a strange turndown from Ewing."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Brooklyn Nets reveal their new, herringbone-patterned home court (PHOTOS)t
    "The Nets are promoting their Twitter account on the sideline, aiming to drive traffic to a page that will reportedly offer team news, exclusive photos, offers and giveaways, and, if we're lucky, regular arguments with bored NBA writers that result in everyone calling everyone haters and trolls until, eventually, everyone just agrees that nobody is as good as Michael Jordan, which is basically the endpoint of every Basketball Twitter argument. Seems like a pretty good strat. (Here's hoping that every time Nets coach Avery Johnson sets foot on the @BrooklynNets logo, the Nets' game operations crew will play a small, adorable bird-chirp sound effect.)"

    Ball Don't Lie: Has Michael Jordan completely handed the keys over as personnel chief in Charlotte?
    "McGee points out that Charlotte's pick in last June's NBA draft, swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, is "Cho's kind of guy." That may very well be true, his all-around upside is significant, but he tends to check all the boxes that Jordan likes to pour over. MKG played deep into March on a prominent major program, and he's an athlete with a work ethic that coaches rave over. Work ethic and heart are well and good, but in some cases (and let's be sure here; we're not referring to Kidd-Gilchrist in this instance) that ethic is in place to cover for failings in other NBA-level areas. Adam Morrison practiced hard, too."

    The Basketball Jones: The Cavaliers are planning ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Mayan Calendar Survivors’ nights
    "My aunt and uncle go to the house from “A Christmas Story” — located in Cleveland, which is why this is a thing — every couple of years and they even have a full-size leg lamp that they bring out every Christmas, so this is going to go over pretty well in their household. I am not joking when I suggest that there’s a chance they’d drive to Cleveland for a bobbleleg. Based only on this completely personal connection to two people I am related to, it certainly sounds like there’s a market for this. I’m totally on board for this."

    DIME: Making Sense Of Deron Williams’ Media Market Logic
    "It’s not a new revelation that staying in New Jersey was a business deal for Williams, where he got more money than playing in hometown Dallas. The teams’ expected success is a wash, and he would have had his sidekick either way in either Dirk Nowitzki or Joe Johnson, so those arguments are null. It came down to money — now and most importantly, future earnings — and it’s not a knock on him that it did. I’m just lost as to why, if he has no personal (re: housing) stake in Brooklyn or New Jersey, he thinks the spotlight from the nation’s media and business epicenter would have ended at the Hudson River."

    SLAM via ESPN: LeBron James, Kevin Durant Training Together Again
    The Oklahoma City Thunder star has joined the Miami Heat Most Valuable Player for a series of collaborative and grueling two-a-day workouts near James’ hometown in Akron, Ohio, sources told ESPN. Last year the two dubbed the process ‘hell week’ and credited it with helping them start on a path to facing each other in last June’s Finals. ‘We pushed each other every day,’ James said about last year’s workouts. ‘At the time, I envisioned us getting to (the Finals) against each other.’ This summer, just a couple weeks after the Heat beat the Thunder in the Finals, James and Durant played on Team USA together for the first time and won a gold medal in London.”

    ESPN Dallas: Mark Cuban discounts Lakers moves
    "The Lakers have done this before. Gary Payton and Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq were all together, and it didn't work," Cuban said Monday, referring to the 2003-04 Lakers, who lost in the Finals, when introducing his team's acquisitions to the media and season-ticket holders. "It takes great chemistry. ... It takes guys wanting to be there. I don't know if all their guys want to be there."

    ESPN: Bill Russell healing after procedure
    "Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell recently underwent a heart procedure, but is feeling well and is hoping to be back in Boston in late October, according to his business manager Stuart Layne."

    Sports Illustrated: Playing favorites: Heat, Thunder, Lakers stand out from the pack
    "Eastern Conference executive who voted Miami, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles: "The Lakers will have an adjustment period for sure, but Mike Brown is so good defensively that I can see Dwight being a monster this year. He'll have to be, because Nash is brilliant but he has taken a step back defensively. It's just like Miami, which needed a year to adjust to each other. The Lakers will face the same issues. The difference is that Nash and Kobe are a little older and less inclined to be stoppers defensively."

    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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