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News From Around The World: October 30

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

    October 30

    Trail Blazers TV: Top 10 Pre-Season Plays

    Trail Blazers TV: Just Casey

    Trail Blazers TV: Sportlandia

    Oregon Live: Blazers decline options on Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams
    “Based on our evaluation of the free agent market and the number of teams with significant cap room next summer, in order to be a player at all in free agency, we needed the flexibility,” Olshey said. By declining the options, the Blazers will have between $11.8 million and $13 million in cap space next summer, Olshey said. He added that if they had picked up all three options, the space would have shrunk to about $6.5 million."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers building blocks: Meyers Leonard, The Hope
    "It's true that two points is two points," Leonard said. "But whether (Hughes) likes it or not, it definitely fires your team up and turns the energy level up. Not only for the team, but for the crowd, too. So I feel like it's an energy maker for me and the others around me. And however I can get that done, I'm going to get it done."

    DIME: Video: License To Lillard, Episode 4 “Orientation” With Damian Lillard
    "I had my fantasy keeper draft last night, and one of the guys I made sure to grab was Damian Lillard. He’s starting in Portland, and with all of those guaranteed minutes, I’m guessing he’ll put up solid numbers. Hopefully down the road, he matures into something more, and I get to reap the benefits. We rated Lillard as the rookie most likely to win the Rookie of the Year award, and here in another episode of “License To Lillard” you get to see his journey through the summer… where it all began. "

    Trail Blazers: DIME: Why Damian Lillard Is The Top Candidate For ROY
    "Through the pre-season, the two main contenders for the Eddie Gottlieb trophy played nearly the same amount of minutes per game with Lillard edging the Unibrow in points, assists, and overall shooting percentage and Davis besting Dame in rebounds and blocks. Although this was just a small sample size (6 games for Lillard, 7 for Davis) in games that don't count, I would bet on those trends staying true throughout an 82-game season. Both players are going to put up fantastic stats. But stats aren't going to win this award, this year. It will come down to which rook is able to turn-around their franchise the quickest. The Trail Blazers had just a .424 winning percentage during last season's lockout-shortened season while the Hornets won at just a .318 clip -- a Western Conference low."

    Trail Blazers: Harvest Dinner And More To Be Done
    "Harvest Dinner helps, but there’s always more to be done. It would be nice to think that, after 17 years, the need would have lessened, but it’s simply not the case. There are more people than ever struggling to provide for themselves and their families, which is all the more reason to keep working to find some kind of solution to a persistent problem. But until that day, we’ll keep doing what we can to provide some comfort to those in need, which means we’ll see you at the 18th annual Harvest Dinner next year. "

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers, Providence Health & Human Services Provide Meals And Services For More Than 6,000 Portlanders
    “The Harvest Dinner is an event our entire organization looks forward to each year,” said Traci Rose, Trail Blazers Vice President of Community Relations. “It is an honor to team up with Providence Health & Services, and all of our partners, to lend an assist to our community and support local organizations who are working every day to help people and their families who are struggling. Harvest Dinner not only provides free meals and services to guests, it shines a light on the on-going challenges of food insecurity taking place throughout Portland and across Oregon.”

    Trail Blazers: 10.29.12 Trail Blazers Courtside Podcast
    "Annual Pre-Season Prediction Show.....Predictions include all playoff teams in West & East, who plays in & win the finals, Rookie Of The Year, MVP & how many games the Blazers will win this season."

    Trail Blazers: Chris McGowan Named Trail Blazers President And CEO
    “It is a great day for the Portland Trail Blazers as we welcome Chris to the Northwest,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “With his demonstrated leadership with the Kings and Galaxy, I am confident he will find ways to improve the Blazers’ business performance, which is key to the team's overall success.”

    Oregon Live: Chris McGowan, Blazers' new president and CEO, is unassuming and egoless leader
    “I really think Chris is going to do a phenomenal job,” Leiweke said. “He’s great with fans, ticket holders, sponsors and he’s big on communication. He understands brands and the passion and loyalty that comes with them. He hung in there with Kings’ fans until they won a cup and he always treated them well. I told him there’s nothing more passionate than the Trail Blazers in Portland. There are only a few franchises in professional sports that have that loyalty and passion in a fan base.”

    Pro Basketball Talk: NBA season preview: Portland Trail Blazers
    "He needs to score more and lead on offense. He can knock down the three, but his handle needs to improve so he can attack better off the dribble. The defense needs to be there nightly. He needs to find a groove with Damien Lillard. The Blazers have locked themselves in a bit with big contracts to Aldridge and Batum, those two have to be the stars. Aldridge will be, no question. Batum has got the skills, but this needs to be his breakout year."

    ESPN: Por. Trail Blazers: 2012-13 Forecast
    "Second, any health problems are going to be a real issue because the depth just isn't there. Perhaps it all will come together, but too many players here are either unproven (Lillard, Leonard, Claver, Freeland and Smith) or proven but not in a good way (Jeffries, Babbitt, Price and Pavlovic). Amazingly, it appears five of the top 10 players are going to be rookies. Essentially, there are three proven, viable rotation players on the roster (Aldridge, Batum and Wes Matthews), and otherwise there are a ton of question marks. And discouragingly, Williams kept a fine Blazers tradition alive by rupturing his Achilles over the summer. Yes, Portland already has its first season-ending injury in the books."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Portland Trail Blazers
    "On the offensive end, there's no question that Aldridge has the talent to become the 25-a-night kind of guy who carries a team. He's a potent scorer from midrange, using his high release and soft touch to stretch defenders and hit better than 40 percent of his attempts from beyond 10 feet out last year. But he takes a lot of jumpers -- more than nine per game last year, according to Hoopdata's shot location statistics -- which is a bummer, because Aldridge is also one of the league's most effective low-block scorers, averaging 0.96 points per possession (PPP) on post-ups last season (18th-best in the NBA, according to Synergy Sports Technology)."

    Sheridan Hoops via Rip City Project: Five reasons to feel positive about the Portland Trail Blazers
    "Lillard still has work to do. He needs to figure out how to get engaged in the first quarter of games, he has to work on his decision-making with regards to when and where to hoist a jump shot, and he hasn’t really shown signs of being an elite defender. Lillard is going to get a hands-on lesson on how to play his position. Since he will be a full-time starter all season, watching him progress is worth the price of admission."

    CSNNW: Blazers decline options on Babbit, Williams, and Smith
    "Smith, 24, probably didn't get a fair shake under McMillan last year during his rookie season, but there has been no disputing that Smith has struggled this preseason. In six preseason games, Smith has shot 25 percent from the field and 21 percent from downtown."

    Rip City Project: NBA Rankings: Preseason Rookie Top 25
    "He’s a bit prone to turning the ball over, but Lillard’s shown a poise in running this Blazers team that no other rookie in the draft class has. He can shoot the three, but more importantly, he’s been great at running the pick-and-pop with LaMarcus Aldridge and dumping the ball out at the perfect moment."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Houston Rockets set a new, steadier course
    "However, there's good reason to think the Rockets are now a very different entity. Before, when Morey made deals, he did so in search of a foundation for the franchise. Even if he proves to be a disappointment (which, to be clear, I don't think will happen), Harden will occupy the role of franchise player for at least the next two or three seasons. Morey will therefore make moves that fit Harden, making more targeted decisions instead of throwing many up against a wall and seeing what sticks. Whereas the Rockets used to have tactics in service of a vague long-term plan, they now have a structure that lends meaning to every move they make."

    Ball Don't Lie: Amar’e Stoudemire to miss 6 to 8 weeks with left knee injury, according to report
    "If the timeline bears out, the Knicks could be without their second-leading scorer from a season ago (and their highest-paid player) for as many as 20 to 28 games. A six-week timetable could mean Stoudemire comes back in time for a Dec. 11 matchup with the Nets; an eight-week recovery could mean a return for New York's Christmas Day contest against the Los Angeles Lakers."

    Ball Don't Lie: Rookie mistake: Jeremy Lin scares Scott Machado with goodbye call meant for traded Jeremy Lamb (VIDEO)
    "So credit newly imported point guard Jeremy Lin, one of Morey's two prize restricted free agency acquisitions this summer, with trying to act like a veteran leader after news broke that rookie Jeremy Lamb had been part of the package shipped to Oklahoma City in exchange for Harden. The former New York Knicks point guard steeled himself, picked up his phone and dialed the 2012 lottery pick to wish him well, tell the kid to keep his head up and, one would suspect, suggest that he continue to rise and grind, as NBA players tend to do. It's a thoughtful, if difficult, thing to do."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Los Angeles Clippers
    "Griffin figures to be fully healthy as he recovers from a tear in his knee suffered in mid-July during Olympic training, but the setback likely cost Blake dearly in the on-court reps and practice time needed to move ahead as an all-around star. Remember, Griffin's entire 2009-10 season was spent on the sidelines, and any chance he had at working out with Clipper employees during the offseason following his rookie campaign was shut out due to the lockout. Griffin probably — and smartly, considering the fatigue that was sure to set in — took it easy following his team's second round loss and the meet-up with Team USA in July, and lost yet another chance to round things into shape, or work on the various aspects of his game that need help against the best of the best."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Los Angeles Lakers
    "We've said that before about these Lakers, both during Jackson's last year and Brown's first campaign. Save for Gasol's attempts to reinstitute some parts of the triple post, when the Lakers deigned pass him the ball in places he could expertly work from, Kobe's team devolved into an obvious squad last season on offense, and a fading one defensively — falling from sixth during Jackson's frustrating last season to 13th in defensive efficiency under the supposedly "defensive-minded" Brown. Those failings were made even worse with the addition of Nash and Antawn Jamison as the squad's best bench helper, with all hopes and more riding on the earth-changing Dwight Howard to basically cover everyone's tracks with his defense and rebounding."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Phoenix Suns
    "It will be a rough year — even the squad's younger players like Beasley, Wesley Johnson, and Morris aren't much to behold in the athleticism department, and Kendall Marshall's eventual move into the role of a point guard to be trusted upon will take a while. Though Marshall was great value and a needed pickup at that position, late lottery point guard prospects usually don't come flying out of the gate."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Sacramento Kings
    "There is legitimate concern that both Cousins and Robinson, two athletic types that still can plod at times, could be a poor fit working together in the Kings backcourt. While these fears have a solid foundation, the truth is that any lack of chemistry between the two is to be sussed out in 2013-14, and not during Robinson's rookie campaign. The big forward has enough to figure out while attempting to play what he (and all rookies) sees as "his game," and shouldn't be further burdened initially with providing an answer 50-some games in as to the future of Sacramento's frontcourt."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ludacris dressed up as Anthony Davis for Halloween
    "While this certainly isn't the best NBA-related Halloween costume of the year — that award, of course, goes to The Entire San Antonio Spurs Team — it's not half bad considering that Luda does kind of look like the No. 1 overall draft pick. What would've really made it pop, though, is if Mr. Bridges had copped a Perspectives Charter School uni, since at 5 feet, 8 inches tall, he bears a much stronger resemblance to middle-school, pre-growth-spurt A.D. than he does the present-day version. If he really wanted to rock a 2012 Davis look, he'd need the big arms from the "Get Back" video and some stilts, at the very least. Still, despite the credulity-straining elements of Ludacris-as-Anthony-Davis, I think we can all agree that Luda did a much better job with this year's costume than he did last year, when he put a leash on his girlfriend. No degrading = upgrading"

    DIME via Yahoo!: Breaking News: Ty Lawson Agrees to $48 Million Extension with Nuggets
    "Nuggets guard Ty Lawson agrees to a four-year, $48 million contract extension, sources tell Yahoo! Sports."

    SLAM: Top 50: Kevin Durant, no. 2
    "Durant has a supernatural scoring touch and he’s still learning new ways to get buckets. He’s on his way to being a true rival to LeBron. In the Playoffs, Durant couldn’t help the Thunder beat the Heat, but he officially arrived at a point where he’ll be competing directly against LeBron for a while. If that’s so, eyes from far and wide will turn to OKC and the shape of the NBA will be forever changed. The last NBA Finals was totally new territory for OKC and Durant has a habit of maturing and adapting to new territory quickly."

    SLAM: Top 50: LeBron James, no. 1
    “Most guys who dominate at his age do it athletically, but LeBron has done it with skills and knowledge,” Dambrot said. This was in the late spring of LeBron’s sophomore year, and we were in the St. V gym, watching LeBron and a mix of high school teammates and local college kids in a ragged, out-of-season pick-up run. “He’s just got great knowledge. He just understands the game. A lot of it’s instinct, but the other thing is, he’s very bright. In order to get better at the game, you’ve gotta be able to learn. The guy is amazing from that perspective.”

    ESPN New York: Status uncertain for Knicks-Nets
    "If the game is played Thursday, I certainly encourage fans to carpool and to take city buses -- which will begin running with limited service at 5 p.m. today. ... I expect that adequate numbers of traffic agents will be employed to move traffic swiftly, as has been the experience with the previous events at the Barclays Center."

    ESPN: Danny Granger out indefinitely
    "Now Indiana must contend with the loss of Granger, a small forward who averaged team-best 18.7 points per game last season, and the possibility that starting point guard George Hill might not be 100 percent. Hill did not play in any preseason games because of a left thumb injury and a right hip-pointer."

    Sports Illustrated: Burning questions for 2012-13 season
    "Predictions here likely come down to your flavor of choice, but the most convincing option is the same team that stormed to a league-best 50 wins a year ago: the Spurs. This is an incredible offensive team with the resources necessary to withstand minor injuries and unexpected drop-offs. Eight different Spurs rotation players posted a PER (player efficiency rating) of 15.0 (the league average) or better last season, and those ranks don’t even include useful assets like Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner. In the hands of Gregg Popovich (and within the workings of his offensive system), that depth is invaluable."

    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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