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News From Around The World: October 23

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

    October 23

    Trail Blazers TV: Trail Blazers 120, Jazz 114

    Trail Blazers TV: Lillard For 3

    Trail Blazers TV: Highlight Hickson

    Trail Blazers: On The Clock With Coach Terry Stotts
    "This past Media Day, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down and interview the Trail Blazers and Head Coach Terry Stotts ... But these aren't your average, run-of-the-mill basketball questions. Without further ado, here is the first installment of "On The Clock" with the aforementioned Terry Stotts."

    Trail Blazers: VIDEO: License To Lillard, Episode 3handshakes
    "If you're a fan of getting to know more about Damian Lillard via video, this has been a great week for you. On Sunday, we rolled out the Damian Lillard "New Team, New Dream" video. And today, the third installment of Damian's "License To Lillard" series went live, and it's fantastic. The first two episodes were great, but the most recent is, in my opinion, the best yet. The storyline follows Lillard from the time right before the 2012 draft to his (spoiler alert) being selected by the Trail Blazers with the No. 6 pick."

    Trail Blazers: Offense Clicks In Win Over Utah
    "We also saw the J.J. Hickson we saw in the last part of last season. Again, without Aldridge on the floor, Hickson took a different approach to the game. He ended with 16 points and eight rebounds, and was eight for nine from the field. As we mentioned on the broadcast, perhaps Hickson would be better coming off the bench, where he can be more of the focus offensively with that unit. But, that's for the coaches to decide. He's valuable, that's for sure. They just have to decide the best place for him on this roster."

    Trail Blazers: Lillard's "Dougie," Leonard's Dunking Highlight Wells Fargo Fan Fest
    “I have fun dancing. I enjoy it and I’m always on the internet, checking YouTube looking up all the dances,” said Lillard. “And my family, we dance, that’s what everybody does.”

    Oregon Live: Blazers 120, Jazz 114: Starters shoot 81 percent in first half, Portland improves to 3-3
    "Smith sits: One game after struggling mightily, backup guard Nolan Smith did not play. Even when starting point guard Lillard was whistled for two fouls in the game’s first two minutes, Stotts did not turn to Smith, instead sending training camp invitee Coby Karl into the game. Smith missed all six of his field goal attempts, committed three turnovers and went scoreless during the Blazers’ Friday night loss to the Golden State Warriors. It appears his chances of earning backup minutes at guard are growing slimmer each game. "

    Oregon Live: Blazers practice report: Damian Lillard still getting a feel for foul calls in the NBA
    “Being a rookie, man, I try to stay out of the ref’s face,” Lillard said. “Even in college, I’ve never been a player to go and complain about a call. The most I’ll ever do is throw my hands in the air or shake my head to myself.”

    Oregon Live: J.J. Hickson earns Trail Blazers' starting center spot
    “Meyers and Joel are playing well,” Stotts said. “But I think J.J. has earned the starting spot.”

    Oregon Live: Portland 120, Utah 114: Nicolas Batum steps up with 27 points as Blazers unleash offense
    “This was J.J.’s best game of the preseason,” Stotts said. “He played well at both ends, he had activity. He sustained it for a long period of time. I didn’t think he took very many possessions off at either end. That’s the way he needs to play and that’s the way we need him to play. To have that energy and that activity makes it difficult for the opponents on both ends.”

    Desert News: Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Score doesn't reflect Blazer domination
    "Jazz fans are naturally familiar with Weber State product Damian Lillard. He entered the NBA Draft as a sleeper and quickly shot up the charts as one of the most touted prospects. Monday, the 6’3” point guard showed he is absolutely legit. Despite six turnovers, the young rookie displayed a certain calm and control. His 21 points were efficient (6 of 8 from the floor, 3 of 4 three-pointers, and 6 for 7 from the free throw line). He also chipped in eight assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals."

    Columbian: An outing most foul for young Blazers center
    "Young big men get into foul trouble and (Leonard's) got to learn what he can do and what he can't do," Stotts said. "What's legal and what's not legal. Anticipate plays better. Not put himself in foul position. Being rookies, there's a learning curve."

    Columbian: Lakers on minds of Blazers at Fan Fest
    "Of course, you care about the Jazz," Hickson said. "It's an opportunity for us to get better, to execute in half court. We have the Lakers on Halloween, and of course we're looking forward to that game. But anytime you step on the court, you're looking to get better and have fun. Go out and do what coach tells us to do."

    Portland Tribune: Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey selling process over result, for now
    “I don’t want to neglect the process for the result,” Olshey says. “If we concentrate on creating the right culture, establishing a core, developing some of the guys who just got to the organization and having more a macro-vision, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

    Portland Tribune: Portland Shoots To Easy Win Over Utah
    “Damian played a solid first half,” the first-year Portland coach said. “The second half, he was loose with the ball. Three or four of his turnovers were unforced — poor decisions when he was trying to make a great play. He shot the ball well, made a lot of good plays. On the whole he played a very good game, but he can’t have that many of those type of turnovers.”

    CSNNW: Blazers take down Jazz 120-114
    "I thought I was efficient shooting the ball," Lillard said. "I probably tried to make a few more plays than I should have. I was a little aggressive with a couple of passes, but I thought I made some good plays also."

    Rip City Project: Preseason Game 6 Recap: Blazers 120, Jazz 114
    "So, I’ll say it again: Hickson is out of position at the five. LaMarcus Aldridge sat out Monday so he could get some rest. That left Hickson as the focal point in the paint for Portland’s offense. Because of that, he had a great night. Previously, with LA in the lineup, Hickson hasn’t been quite as effective. J.J. and LaMarcus work well together, they’re naturally opposite type players, LA stays mostly on the perimeter and J.J. stays under the basket, but neither is actually a center. When J.J. tries to play the center position, things get a little more complicated."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 120, Jazz 114
    "I needed this game because I've struggled over the last couple games," Batum said, referencing a 4-for-10 shooting night against the Golden State Warriors on Friday and a 1-for-8 night against the Denver Nuggets last Wednesday. "Just to get back on track, get my confidence back, my rhythm back... I tried to score in different ways tonight. Post-up, transition, one-on-one, come off screens."

    Ball Don't Lie: Dwight Howard thinks he, not Tyson Chandler, deserved Defensive Player of the Year last season
    "Moore dug into Synergy Sports Technology's play-charting data and found that while Chandler allowed more overall points per possession defended than Howard did last season, the Knicks center's "numbers were superior in Pick and Roll, Isolation, and Post defense to Howard's," and argued that Chandler's inferior mark against spot-up shooters is the sort of thing that "most often is the result of poor team play." (Plus, as's Alex Raskin wrote, whereas the Knicks went from 28th in points allowed in the paint before Chandler's arrival to No. 1 last year, Howard's Magic conceded more points in the paint and allowed opponents to shoot a higher percentage inside than the previous year.)"

    Ball Don't Lie via Fort-Worth Telegram: Rick Carlisle offers, um, colorful analogy for the Mavericks’ preseason turnover problems
    "We're doing it every way you can do it," Carlisle said before Monday's game against the New Orleans Hornets. "If we were a sex manual, it'd be a best-seller."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Dallas Mavericks
    "Things will go terribly, to start. Nowitzki's absence means the squad will badly struggle to create spacing, shots, and eventual scores. It's true that the team's November schedule (after October openers against the Lakers and Utah) doesn't appear to be all that tough, but also keep in mind that Nowitzki-less games against the likes of Golden State, Portland, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago, Charlotte and Washington (OK, not Charlotte and Washington) are going to be evenly-matched at best and a loss on paper at worst. There is a real chance Dallas could dig out of this hole with a 5-11 record heading into December. And that might be charitable."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Houston Rockets
    "Omer Asik, as much as those legs can handle, will be given starter quality minutes in Kevin McHale's system. The former Bulls center's fouling rate dropped significantly in his second season in 2011-12, and his defensive presence improved, somehow. This is a player that, by himself, could halve Houston's 17th ranking in defensive efficiency — and yes, we're aware that the Rockets field a backcourt of Lin and Kevin Martin amongst a group of rookies and youngsters. If Asik can play around 2600 minutes in total this season and come through with an approximation of his Chicago effectiveness in spite of the fatigue that comes from the minutes increase, you could have a real haughty column in his defense on your hands come May, when Dwight Howard walks away with another Defensive Player of the Year award."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Warriors should probably guard Blake Griffin under the rim (VIDEO)
    "Golden State Warriors fans are used to coaches' preseason proclamations that this year's team will place an increased emphasis on defense. They are even more used to finding out that, emphasis or no, this year's team stinks on D — just three Warriors teams in the past 30 years have finished in the top half of the league in points allowed per 100 possessions. Before last season, new coach Mark Jackson promised a playoff run keyed by hard-nosed defense, then watched his Warriors finish 13th in the West after giving up an average of 106 points per 100 possessions, tied for the NBA's fourth-worst mark, according to's stat tool. Second verse, same as the first."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeff Green chases down Mychel Thompson for the block (VIDEO)
    "There are many reasons to be skeptical of Green this season, not the least of which being that he'd be quite overpaid even if not for concerns about his health. Even so, it's tough not to get excited by plays like this one. A year ago, Green had the kind of health scare that no one should have to deal with. Now, he's blocking opponents on fast breaks. No matter what you think of his quality of play, that's pretty cool."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2012-13 NBA season prediction countdown: 12-10
    "Then again, Jefferson and Millsap are both on expiring contracts so I suppose they could just wait it out and let Favors and Kanter marinate in bench sauce for one more season. If it was up to me (“Thankfully it isn’t,” says every Jazz fan), I’d shop Jefferson and try to land a starting-quality wing player in return so that Marvin Williams can return to his ideal role as a sixth man. A starting frontcourt of Favors and Millsap with Kanter coming off the bench improves the defense of their starting unit and ensures that Kanter gets enough playing time to impress the other team’s cheerleaders."

    The Basketball Jones: The once and future kings of Lakerland
    "As Dwight Howard entered to a sea of cheers and adulation that moved him to the point of tears, not a soul in the gathered crowd of the 18,997 on hand mentioned Andrew Bynum. Not one No. 17 jersey in the stands. Not one person said they missed him and not one kid cried cause his old favorite was gone, as I did in 1998 in a Jack in the Box parking lot the night Eddie Jones was traded. And it was this whitewashing of Andrew Bynum and what he had once represented to the Los Angeles Lakers that struck me as totally weird, and not because I think Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard in any measurable way and definitely not because I missed him, as previously published opinions will support."

    SLAM: Top 50: Russell Westbrook, no. 9
    "This article isn’t about proving whether Westbrook’s worthy of the No. 9 spot on SLAMonline’s Top 50 list, but rather your willingness to accept that Westbrook is just that damned good. That his status is only on the rise, that it hasn’t plateaued. Does he have his flaws? Of course. If that jumper of his was money, if he wasn’t at times reckless with his decision-making, if he didn’t wear egregious outfits from time to time… well, you wouldn’t be able to place him at No. 9 on this list."

    SLAM: Top 50: Carmelo Anthony, no. 10
    "Quadel Yates wrote, “Carmelo Anthony is a great player. He achieved a lot in the past year, taking the Knicks to a new level of hype. Ever since he joined the Knicks, their fan base has grown larger. He is a great shooter, setting a new record for the most three pointers in one game during the Olympics. Carmelo deserves his spot on the Top 50 players of the year” no matter what spot it is because Mr. Rubenstein would never accidentally show us the rankings before they were made available to the public."

    DIME: The Top 20 Shooting Guards In The NBA Today
    "Matthews is pretty much the definition of a solid but thoroughly unspectacular player. At 26, he’s probably not going to improve much going forward, but he’ll still be an important piece for the Blazers as they try to reset the franchise’s direction. He can shoot from deep (steady in the 38-40 percent range throughout the first three years of his career), doesn’t turn the ball over often and is generally a strong defender. In all, the Blazers could do much worse than pairing Matthews with promising rookie Damian Lillard in the backcourt."

    ESPN: East Side: What to look forward to
    "An NBA with little to no flopping. I know it's just the preseason, but you can already tell the players decided to put on their big-boy pants (big-boy shorts?) and not let the league call them out for deceitful play."

    ESPN: West Side: What to look forward to
    "The return of Derrick Rose later in the season. The 2012 playoffs felt incomplete without him."

    Sports Illustrated: The Lakers won the offseason, but the Heat enter the season at No. 1
    "Portland might have gotten the steal of the draft at No. 6 with Damian Lillard, who was the co-MVP of the Las Vegas summer league after averaging 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. With LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, the team is set at forward. Can rookie Meyers Leonard develop into the center they hoped Greg Oden would be? Either way, he'll play. The only other proven big men on the roster are J.J. Hickson and Jared Jeffries, neither of whom is suited for the center position."

    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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