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News From Around The World: May 31

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

    May 31

    Trail Blazers: 2013 NBA Mock Draft Database

    Trail Blazers: May 30 Pre-Draft Workout Photos

    Trail Blazers: May 31 Pre-Draft Workout Photos

    SLAM: Q+A: Damian Lillard
    "For our team, I think we had the chance to make the Playoffs this year. So I think with one more year, we’ll have more chemistry, we’ll know each other better, and with some pieces that we’ll have, I think we should be a Playoff team. That’s my number one goal, I want to try and help us get into the Playoffs. Second thing is I want to get on the All-Star team. I want to make the All-Star team for the first time next year."

    Trail Blazers: Bingo, Bango, Bongo Mock Draft
    "Portland’s major weaknesses are interior defense and scoring off the bench. While they could opt for the 7-2 Rudy Gobert to protect the paint, the Frenchman is a few years away from really producing and Neil Olshey strikes me as person who values players who can contribute right away, coming from the NFL school of thought where production is more important than potential. In McCollum, the Trail Blazers would get a phenomenal third guard to play with Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews. While McCollum is the classic combo guard, he has the ability to run the show while Lillard either takes a breather or moves off the ball. But C.J.’s biggest strength is getting buckets. McCollum is a lethal scorer who averaged 23.9 points at Lehigh, including a ridiculous 51.6% from downtown."

    Trail Blazers: Matthews Watches Workouts After Surgery
    "They work hard," said Matthews. "That's the biggest thing for these guys is to work hard. I think, when people watch the NBA game, especially at the college level, I know I did, I felt like 'I can play at that level. I can score at that level. They're not moving that fast. There's a lot of space on that court' but it's a lot faster than what you think. For them to compete every possession was big."

    Trail Blazers: May 30 Pre-Draft Workouts
    "Completed two seasons at North Texas, averaging 13.7 points (49.0% FG), 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.93 steals, 2.85 blocks and 31.1 minutes in 55 games (51 starts) ... Following his freshman year in 2011-12, became only the third player in Sun Belt history to earn Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Sun Belt in same season ... Ranked second among all freshmen nationally in rebounds and was joined by Kentucky’s Anthony Davis as only NCAA freshman to average a double-double ... As a senior, broke the North Texas single season blocks record (87), a record he broke as a freshman, and became the school’s all-time career blocks leader (157) ... Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference following the 2012-13 season."

    Trail Blazers: May 31 Pre-Draft Workouts
    "In four seasons at Syracuse, averaged 10.6 points (43.2% FG, 75.1% FT), 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.99 steals and 26.8 minutes in 147 games … As a senior, helped lead the Orange to the team’s first NCAA Tournament Final Four since the 2002-03 season … Averaged career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (3.4), assists (3.6), steals (1.25) and minutes (33.8) as a senior … In 2012-13, ranked second among Syracuse players in scoring and assists, while ranking third in steals and free throw percentage (74.4%) … Ranked 17th in the Big East Conference in scoring and 11th in assists his final season at Syracuse … In five NCAA Tournament games in 2013, averaged 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.20 steals and 36.2 minutes … His freshman season, was voted by conference coaches to the Big East All-Rookie Team … Named to the Big East All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News and also was selected as a Freshman All-American by … Named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list prior to his sophomore season."

    Oregon Live: Blazers GM Neil Olshey touts unheralded NBA draft, promises productive offseason
    “I don’t know if there is a presumptive superstar at the top,” Olshey said of the draft. “But fortunately, we’re not picking up there. I think the draft has really good depth. I think you are going to get quality players and I think it’s all based on what your level of expectation is. I think it’s a solid draft. I like where we are positioned. I think there are really good players at that level (and) if you have a realistic expectation of what they can produce, I think you’re going to get a quality player.”

    Oregon Live: 2013 NBA draft: Should the Portland Trail Blazers draft Steven Adams at No. 10?
    "Adams blocked more than two shots a game for the Panthers. "He's big and strong, he's reasonably athletic, he is very physical," a Pacific Division scout said. "If this league can draft Daniel Orton in the first round, you can draft Steven Adams in the first round. I thought he was a first-round candidate when I saw him play against Georgetown a few months ago. I thought he was very aggressive and physical. He doesn't mind hitting people and he doesn't mind being hit. He's a big guy. He's got big hands. (But) he's not a skilled player."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews his same competitive self, even 2 days removed from surgery
    "You guys know I'll play through pain," Matthews said to a group of reporters on Friday. "So that's basically what I did (after) the All-Star break and (I) felt it throughout the rest of the season. They told me to take a month off. I took a month off, got back to working out and still felt it. So we took more (tests) and went to find a specialist and a couple days later I'm cut open."

    Columbian: Blazers scour talent pool for draft picks
    "I've always been very much of the opinion that this is Neil's domain," Stotts said. "This is a general manager's domain. The draft pick goes on his record. It's important that he feels comfortable with any decisions that are made. I'm there to assist him. I'm sure that any decision that is made, we'll all be in agreement. I'm there as kind of a consultant (more) than anything else."

    CSNNW: Matthews talks surgery, team needs and pre-draft workouts
    “Yeah, it's weird. Every time pre-draft workouts start happening. Portland was my first workout that I had. I remember killing it, too...They didn't notice. They noticed a year later.”

    Rip City Project: Blazer Report Cards: Nicolas Batum and Victor Claver
    "There were highlights, plenty of them. Batum recorded two triple-doubles this season (in the same week, no less), and even a 5×5 game (5+ points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks). However, for every stretch there was to celebrate, there was a slump to bemoan. Batum’s inconsistency was a major trend to follow during this season for the Blazers. Some of it was blamed on a wrist injury, and that easily could’ve been responsible in part for an year that was still pretty good, all things considered. Unfortunately, the Blazers aren’t looking for pretty good. They’ll need great from Batum to move up the standings in the Western Conference, and they’re counting on him for great."

    Yahoo!: Houston Rockets plan to trade Thomas Robinson to free up cap space for run at Dwight Howard
    "The Rockets are targeting teams with the cap space to absorb Robinson's contract. The Rockets are trying to cobble together a package that could include assets such as a trade exception, a draft pick or non-guaranteed contracts that they can be unloaded, sources said."

    Ball Don't Lie: Miami tightens the screws in Game 5, taking over in the second half and grabbing a 3-2 series lead
    "James, as you’d hope for and as we’ve come to expect, was the catalyst. The MVP made half his shots, hitting for 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists in over 44 minutes. There were no highlights on Thursday, just effective work in an area of the court that left Indiana’s defense all a-quiverin’. And with each measured, steady 17-footer that James hit, his teammates grew in confidence. While the Pacers – mindful that LeBron could do this for 58 minutes if the task called for it – just could not get over the task at hand on the other end. Miami’s suddenly active, sometimes double-teaming defense, aided in that cause."

    Ball Don't Lie: Roy Hibbert apologizes to Pacers fans for Game 5 loss, says team must ‘sack up’ in Game 6
    "Personally, I'd focus more on the "we" than the "I," especially after Hibbert was one of the few Pacers to show any real signs of life on Thursday — he finished with 22 points on 8 for 14 shooting and made as many free throws as the rest of his teammates combined, he and Paul George combined to score Indiana's first 29 points, and multiple other Pacers (most notably the backcourt of George Hill, Lance Stephenson, D.J. Augustin and Sam Young) played like hot garbage for the lion's share of the contest. Still, it's a nice show of leadership and accountability from the 26-year-old big man, who has taken a major step toward stardom in this postseason and been an integral part of the hard-nosed, defensive-minded, inside-out identity cultivated by Indiana coach Frank Vogel."

    Ball Don't Lie: Danilo Gallinari has yet to have reconstructive surgery, could be out until midseason
    "As a result of this potential move, the Nuggets’ team is a whole damn mess. George Karl could potentially be courted by the Los Angeles Clippers for their open head coaching spot. Andre Iguodala could turn down the final year of his contract in Denver to head into what will be a seller’s market in free agency this summer, and playing half a season without Gallinari will likely force the Nuggets into the lower rungs of the Western playoff bracket in 2013-14, bad news for a team that so desperately relies on home court advantage to make hay against teams featuring go-to superstars."

    DIME: Dime Mock Draft 2.0: A Major Trade Involving DeMarcus Cousins Could Shake Up The Top 5 Picks
    "We have a feeling Gobert once last past OKC. But Portland is adamant about putting a real center next to LaMarcus Aldridge. Yes, they took one last year in Meyers Leonard as well, but there’s also this: how many young players does the team need? An international pick makes perfect sense. We’re betting it’s either Gobert or Dario Saric."

    SLAM: Nerlens Noel, No. 2 (Mock Draft)
    "Yes, that torn ACL needs to be assessed extremely carefully. Yes, his listed weight of 206 pounds—a good 70 pounds lighter than LeBron James—needs to change. But frankly, given how middling the overall character of this Draft is, given Noel’s skyscraping potential, and given how utterly mighty next year’s Draft will most certainly be, those are all easy risks. I’d rather risk an ACL rehab and need to eat more carbs, than risk that Trey Burke will develop into a 6-foot All-Star or Ben McLemore will develop a pulse."

    SLAM: Anthony Bennett, No. 3 (Mock)
    "Bennett’s upside is as high as any player in this year’s draft class. He’s already a great offensive rebounder, finisher and shooter for his position, and he’d be a perfect running mate in the open court for Wall. He can score inside, he can score outside, and he can attack off the bounce. Experience-wise, he played in the ’09 and ’10 FIBA World Championships (for Canada)."

    SLAM: Post Up: One Man Show
    "In response to LeBron’s performance, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra noted in the post game press conference, “That’s LeBron showing his greatness and making it look easy. His engine in that third quarter was incredible,” explained Spoelstra. “He was making plays on both ends of the court, rebounding, covering so much ground defensively and then making virtually every play for us offensively.”

    ESPN: Ranking top 30 draft prospects
    "Muhammad is in better condition now than he was during his injury-riddled freshman season at UCLA. He is a long-armed, scoring wing who is assertive and expects to have the ball and to be a focal point. He is not yet a great passer or individual defender."

    ESPN: Future Power Rankings: 11-15
    "If Portland doesn't return to the playoffs next year -- a challenge in the West -- Aldridge could begin putting subtle pressure on GM Neil Olshey to find a trade lest he walk. Since Aldridge is the oldest member of the Blazers' core, that wouldn't be a disaster, but the team would be challenged to get equal value in return."

    ESPN: Debate: Future Power Rankings
    "I've followed the Warriors closely, and even I was shocked to see them at No. 5. Upon reflection, the ranking makes sense. This is one of the quicker franchise turnarounds in recent memory. Much of the change has to do with Stephen Curry, who, when healthy, has proved to be a volcano on offense. Solid rookies also help the cause as Golden State basks in a bright future for the first time since Chris Webber was a rookie."

    Sports Illustrated: Croatia's Saric leads international crop of NBA draft prospects
    "An often-cited comparison is flattering: Boston's Rajon Rondo. "He's got those long arms and dynamic skills," a West executive said of the 6-2, 165-pound Schroeder, a quick 19-year-old. Schroeder burst onto NBA radars with a stellar performance at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit, and he's impressed teams with his playmaking instincts. Schroeder excels in the pick-and-roll and confidently directs an offense."

    Sports Illustrated: 2013 Free Agent Primer: Ball handlers
    "Jack is due a raise (he made $5.4 million this season), but he’s also a more problematic player than most casual (or playoff-centric) fans are likely aware. He scores well, but does so in a way that often prevents greater potential for offense. His deep drives and pull-up jumpers largely come without contingency, with Jack bound by his inability to read the entire floor. That he can so often beat his man off the bounce turns out to be a blessing and a curse — often on consecutive possessions — for that very reason. The way he plays isn’t exactly selfish, but functionally it’s not so different; Jack might set up a wide-open teammate in the center of his field of view, but otherwise the blinders he bears tend to deny his team high-value opportunities (corner three-pointers, open cutters, etc.)."

    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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