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News From Around The World: October 15

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

    October 15

    Trail Blazers TV: Meyers Leonard Put-Back Dunk

    Trail Blazers TV: Lillard To Leonard Alley-Oop

    Trail Blazers TV: Sportlandia: Wesley Matthews Interview

    CSNNW: LaMarcus Aldridge Convinced He's A Number One Guy
    “They drafted him as the franchise point guard and he's very talented, gifted offensively, passing the ball, things like that,” Aldridge said. “I definitely see us creating chemistry over the years and becoming a very dynamic one-two punch.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Look To Bounce Back In Sacramento
    "While the Kings may have too many cooks in their backcourt kitchen, the Trail Blazers will face the opposite problem. With Ronnie Price (sprained right ankle) out for Monday night's game, head coach Terry Stotts' only options at point guard are rookie Damian Lillard and Nolan Smith, and even Smith has played much of his minutes in preseason off the ball."

    Trail Blazers: Practice Report: Price Out, Hickson and Barton Back In
    "In position news, Terry Stotts noted that Nicolas Batum, the starter at small forward, is "probably my first choice as a backup two." Ronnie Price's injury means Nolan Smith is now the primary backup at point to Damian Lillard, which means Smith's minutes at off-guard are now up for grabs. It sounds like Stotts would like to give those minutes to Batum, who played some shooting guard last season, rather than Will Barton, Sasha Pavlovic or Adam Morrison, at least for the time being. "

    Oregon Live: Adam Morrison's ongoing journey could land him a spot on Blazers' roster
    "I hope so," Morrison said. "(Blazers management) told me to come here and be myself, try to get baskets and battle on defense. And that's what I've been doing. I know everybody is going to nit pick about my ability and my past, but I'm just here to play as best as I can and see what happens."

    CSNNW: News and Notes from Shootaround: Blazers vs Kings
    "Stotts say he went through pick-and-roll defense, setting picks, and going over some new defensive coverages that he says we'll see tonight. They also had a 15 minute video session going over their offensive and defensive possessions from the Phoenix Suns game on Friday night."

    NBA: Blazers in recovery mode after bottoming out
    "That's the encouraging October perspective, that this is clearly the road back and a lot of the potholes have already been fixed. Lillard, though a scoring point guard in college who needs to prove he can be a sound distributor, is a strong preseason candidate for Rookie of the Year. Leonard, while probably a year and maybe two away, is regarded around the league as an athletic center with a bright future. Aldridge is coming off an All-Star campaign. Starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews took the unusual step of playing in summer league heading into his fourth season because he wanted to set a leadership tone and help push away the bad chemistry from 2011-12. Batum may never live up to the contract worth a reported $45 million over four years -- that's star-player money -- but can still be an impact small forward as a defender and 3-point threat."

    Trail Blazers: Dragic, Hot Shooting Power Suns Past Trail Blazers 104-93
    "Leonard, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday win against the Lakers, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in his first, albeit preseason, start in the NBA. Leonard started the game looking a bit lost playing against a quality reverent center in Marcin Gortat, but the rookie from Illinois quickly answered the bell. Through two games, Leonard has been the most consistent Trail Blazer thus far."

    Trail Blazers: Sometimes Life Can Be Like Play-By-Play
    "If you’ve been following “The Continuing Saga of Brian Wheeler”, you may remember in our last episode that our lead character had found the identities of his birth parents. Phone conversations ensued, and the plan was for all interested parties to meet in Illinois, where Brian was born, and where his birth family still lived."

    Oregon Live: Will Barton finally set to debut for Blazers, but Ronnie Price could be out a while
    “It felt real good,” Barton said. “The last road trip, watching them play those two games, being a rookie and being so anxious to be out there, it was killing me.”

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: As Seattle arena brews, tonight's Blazers-Kings game could preview new I-5 rivalry
    "And if you're shrugging this off as a Portland fan, consider this: If the NBA ever gets to revive the old I-5 rivalry between the Blazers and Sonics, this Kings team would probably be the one that moves to Seattle to become the SuperSonics -- the Kings team turning into King County's team."

    Oregon Live: In Blazers' exhibition loss to Suns, Meyers Leonard earns first start and learns to handle imperfections
    “I just wanted to be perfect and sometimes when I do that, I get to thinking too much and that doesn’t help,” Leonard said. “I have to go with the flow of the game. I know I can do a lot of things on the court well, but when I don’t, I just have to calm down and move on. It’s part of the process.”

    Columbian: Barton back, but Blazers lineup shuffled
    "He looked like he was a 100 percent," Stotts said of Barton. "He needs to review the plays. He's been out a little bit. But yeah, he'll get minutes at two as well. I don't know if he'll play any point but he's a ball handler who can be on the floor with Damian or Nolan and help with the ball handling responsibilities."

    Rip City Project: Portland Trail Blazers Sign Jrue’s Brother, F Justin Holiday
    "If there’s one reason why the Blazers would want to hang onto Holiday, it’s because of his defense. His teammates at Washington used to call him “the Fireman” because of his ability to extinguish even the hottest player on the court. A solid man defender would fit beautifully into coach Stotts’ defensive game plan, which relies heavily on isolation defense and not getting beat."

    Blazersedge via Sporting News: Deveney: NBA Scout Says Damian Lillard Can Start Immediately But Lacks Upside
    "Watching Lillard the times I got to see him play in college and then again watching him in summer league, you can definitely see why a lot of teams fell in love with him. He is polished and he knows how to score; he does not make many mistakes. He was a (redshirt junior), so he is going to be ahead of some other guys coming in as rookies, and in the long haul, that probably means he doesn't have the same upside as some other guys. But I think he can come in and take the starting reins right away and be a pretty good point guard from Day 1."

    Blazersedge: Blazers-Kings Pre-Season Game 3: Five Things to Watch
    "Against the Los Angeles Lakers the Blazers used a spread floor, crisp passing, and reasonable screens to create space, leading to open jumpers and the occasional attempt at the rim. Against the Phoenix Suns the Blazers used a spread floor, perimeter passing, and less-than-reasonable screens to create covered three-pointers. The first attack was successful, the second not so much. Though bad offensive performances are often described as "just missing good shots" this is really, really, really not so with the Blazers and will probably not prove true at any point this season. Portland's halfcourt attack comes down to will and precision. Do the Blazers have the maturity and confidence to execute their sets even when they don't work a couple times, or does hard defensive pressure force Portland into individual deep shots? Also how tight are those cuts and screens, and how accurate the passes? Timing is everything in an offense like this. One guy being sloppy stymies the whole team."

    Ball Don't Lie: 76-year-old professor tries out for Warriors’ D-League affiliate: ‘You know, what the hell’ (VIDEO)
    "At a Sunday tryout for the newly minted Santa Cruz Warriors, the Golden State Warriors affiliate formerly based in North Dakota and named the Dakota Wizards, though, a player took the floor who makes Walker, Ostertag, Davis and every other player in D-League history look like spring chickens. The 68 players who showed up at Aptos High School in Aptos, Calif., to compete for a D-League training camp invite included members of the Washington Generals (as in "the guys who play the Harlem Globetrotters"), Bay Area rapper/noted curser and uncurser of Kevin Durant/Based God Lil B ... and a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz who was born before Batman was."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Atlanta Hawks
    "Joe did stop the ball, though, as Louis Williams often will with the Hawks this season. The goodness behind this is the fact that Williams scored better per-minute than Joe last season, his efficiency wasn't quite on Johnson's level (though not far off), and he dished more and turned the ball over a remarkable 1.5 times per 36 minutes of play. Decades worth of influence that goes into us giving the short shrift to a shooting guard in a point guard's body, especially in comparison to a sturdy and orthodox-wing like Joe, has to be thrown out the window. The Hawks have made an upgrade, at nearly one-quarter the price; creating cap space for the summer of 2013 while matching Johnson's scoring and passing exploits along the way."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Charlotte Bobcats
    "No amount of spreadsheet assistance will significantly help this crew, though. Especially when Corey Maggette — though he was dogged with a 1940s-appropriate field goal percentage while missing 28 games — has been jettisoned for an upgrade in Ben Gordon (plus potential lottery pick), but one that shoots half as many free throws per minute and tosses up plenty of long twos along the way. MKG, the rookie, is really the team's only significant addition, and Thomas' mercurial ways remain mainly because it was cost prohibitive to waive a guy they'd have to still pay while investing in a minutes replacement."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2012-13 NBA season prediction countdown: 30-28
    "It remains to be seen how the Jeremy Lin signing will turn out, but I’m convinced that Morey’s signing of Omer Asik will pay huge dividends for this team in the future. He’s one of the best defensive and rebounding centers in the league, and if he can raise his offensive game to something approaching decent, the Rockets will be paying just over $8 million per season for a top 10 center. I expect his emergence to be a rare highlight for this team as they settle into the Western Conference basement."

    The Basketball Jones: Thomas Robinson plans on being very annoying
    "And not just on court either. If Thomas Robinson starts punctuating every dunk with “Did I do that?” and then hiking his shorts up, that’s a pretty solid branding approach. With nerd glasses being the go-to NBA accessory, really carving out a niche as THE annoying nerd of the league could be smart. If he’s going to be annoying on purpose, might as well make some money off it."

    The Basketball Jones: Kevin Love missed a game because of a sleeping injury
    "So basically, Kevin Love had a dead arm from sleeping, putting him in the same league as famous hurt-in-bed athletes such as Derrick Rose, Glenallen Hill and Sammy Sosa (cool beds work from a bunch of Chicago athletes). But since it happened in the preseason, it’s not a big deal. Just get that arm in place and have a nice night’s sleep and it’s fine. No need to worry."

    SLAM via NY Times: Joe Johnson Out to Get Rid of ‘Iso-Joe’ Label
    "‘When I started in Phoenix, there wasn’t no Iso-Joe,’ Johnson said. ‘I basically played off of Amar’e and Steve Nash and Shawn and those guys. This is a similar situation for me here in Brooklyn.’ Indeed, just 14.9 percent of Johnson’s possessions in 2004-5 were defined as isolation plays, according to Synergy Sports, which logs every N.B.A. play. The majority of Johnson’s scoring chances came as the ballhandler in the pick and roll (22.1 percent), on spot-up jumpers (20.3) and in transition (18.8)."

    SLAM: Top 50: Derrick Rose, no. 23
    "Derrick Rose doesn’t need a top-five ranking. He doesn’t need another accolade. He turned 24 years old last week, and the only thing he hasn’t achieved is an NBA Championship."

    SLAM: Q+A: Gary Payton
    " The reason I give back is because I’m from the inner city myself. I’ve seen a lot of kids with tremendous basketball abilities get caught up in the neighborhood and never make it out. So I just try to give these kids some advice and guidance. If someone comes to me and says they have a good idea and a good program to help kids, I’m going to be a part of that. Because some of these kids don’t have an opportunity to get out of the neighborhood, so in a sense we can really save lives."

    DIME: Toronto’s NBA Future Begins With One Rookie: Jonas Valanciunas
    “He does so many things that don’t necessarily show up on a stat sheet that create opportunities for others. He’s the kind of guy that is a factor in so many ways,” GM Bryan Colangelo told The National Post at the team’s media day. “This kid is 20 years old and he represents a big chunk of the future of this organization.”

    True Hoop: The HoopIdea Guide to Flops
    "When a player flops because it’s the only alternative to turning the ball over. Often occurs near the sideline and against traps. "

    ESPN: Getting Paul and Howard together
    "The Hawks will have tons of cap space after their big summer trade, and Paul has a soft spot for Atlanta. Howard, of course, is from Atlanta, though he's not dying to go back there and play. The Hawks would certainly be a hard sell, but if both somehow become disgruntled with their current circumstances, they could perhaps look to start anew together in the East."

    Sports Illustrated: 2012-13 NBA Preview: Atlantic Division
    "After being in transition for years, New York entered a full training camp with coach Mike Woodson emphasizing defense around a front line of leaders who are capable of protecting the paint. Health permitting, the Knicks will build their defense around Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, who will prove valuable when the playoffs come. Carmelo Anthony is in terrific shape after the Olympics and promised to share the ball with Amar'e Stoudemire, who spent the summer developing his low-post game. Most important is the acquisition of Jason Kidd, who will help fellow point guard Raymond Felton establish a flow to enable Anthony and Stoudemire work in tandem. They'll be seeking to reincarnate the gritty climate of the old Jeff Van Gundy Knicks, and it's an achievable goal."

    Sporting News: Josh Smith tells Atlanta Hawks he will enter free agency this summer
    "The 6-9, 225-pound forward would be limited to a three-year extension if he signs with Atlanta during the season. He can sign a five-year deal if he waits until after the season."

    Sports Illustrated: Success of Roy's comeback will be determined by more than health
    "Meanwhile, Roy found it difficult to accept his changing role in the pecking order. As far back as 2009-10, he openly feuded with then-newly acquired point guard Andre Miller over control of the half-court offense. Even as he was recovering from surgeries on both knees in 2011, he chafed at the 24-minute limit imposed on his playing time. After last season's lockout, then-coach Nate McMillan and team management emerged from a meeting with Roy announcing he would be a starter in 2011-12, a vindication of sorts for Roy, who then retired only days later."

    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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