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Around The World: March 28

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

    March 28 Video: Trail Blazers 95, Thunder 109 Video: Kaleb Canales Post-Game Interview

    Trail Blazers: Thunder 109, Trail Blazers 95: Post-Game Notes
    "With his one blocked shot on the night LaMarcus Aldridge has tied Arvydas Sabonis for ninth place in team history with 419 blocks."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Fall By 14 To The Thunder
    “He fits in well,” said LaMarcus Aldridge of Hickson. “He’s a good scorer and we have good sets for him, so he’s fitting in well.”

    Trail Blazers: Thunderstorm at the RG
    "Jonny Flynn was the other Blazer who was especially fun to watch in this game. Flynn, who was the sixth-overall pick in that '09 draft mentioned above, is also getting the chance to show he simply needed the right situation to blossom. Flynn, who got the bulk of the point-guard minutes in the second half, had 10 points, five assists, and lit a spark under the Blazer offense. The NBA is funny this way- Flynn was in a bad situation in Minnesota, suffered a serious hip injury, rehabbed with Houston, and now is finally healthy. Could it be that the Blazers have found a guy that could stick in the future? Tough to tell that just yet, but you've got to give Flynn credit for doing his best to prove himself."

    Trail Blazers: Fitting Into The Offense Is A Breeze For Newest Trail Blazer J.J. Hickson
    “Energy, getting into the paint, getting dunks, rebounding. I haven’t been rebounding good but I think once I get my legs back under me you’ll start to see those ten-plus rebound games,” Hickson said. “I feel real comfortable here. On the court I feel comfortable with the sets we’re running and I feel I’m getting a little bit better with the defensive schemes that we’re going through.”

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: Blazers reopen search for general manager
    "And that's why the biggest news of the day came well before Tuesday's tipoff, the type of news needed to take the first step toward re-establishing the Rose Garden as the place to be: Team president Larry Miller said the team has reopened its search for a general manager."

    Oregon Live: Blazers-Thunder: Nolan Smith's first NBA start comes against a coach who is practically family
    “I followed him through high school, I followed him through Duke, I followed him every day here,” Brooks said. “I’m glad he’s getting the opportunity, playing pretty good.”

    Oregon Live: Oklahoma City 109, Portland 95: Thunder, Russell Westbrook run all over Blazers
    "Top to bottom, they are so good," new Blazers point guard Jonny Flynn said, before reeling off most of the Thunder's stacked roster. "I just described a championship-contending team. They have every facet of the game that you need. They showed us that when you make mistakes on defense, they can really hurt you."

    Columbian: Thunder add to Blazers’ woes
    “I’m definitely hoping for another chance,” Smith said. “Honestly, it wasn’t the best shooting night. But defensively, I helped my team. I felt pretty good about that.”

    Columbian: Blazers report: Brooks, Nolan go way back
    “Throughout the years, leading up till now, we’ve always had communication,” Smith said. “He talked to me during my college times, would send gifts on Christmas, and has always given advice.”

    Portland Tribune: Westbrook provides lightning for Thunder
    “We weren’t ready to play defense the first half,” said Portland’s Nicolas Batum, who scored 13 points but made only 4 of 11 shots. “Our goal now is no 30-point quarters. Bad job tonight the first half. We were down 21, and in five minutes we get back to five because of defense and rebounds. Then Westbrook — wow, he played a good game tonight.”

    Portland Tribune: Canales a potential 'permanent' coach, Miller says
    “We’re going to look at how it goes the rest of the year, and it’s very possible he’ll be a candidate when we hire a new coach,” Miller said."

    Rip City Project: Game 50 Recap: Blazers 95, Thunder 109
    "Portland’s runs made the game exciting in portions. I would love to say those runs also made the Thunder work. Unfortunately, they really didn’t. And that’s part of why I think Oklahoma City can be so dangerous. They have the ability to hit a second and even a third gear. The ability to access those higher gears at a moment’s notice when they need them in the post season will dictate whether or not they do better than the Conference Finals this season. I imagine they will."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Thunder 109, Blazers 95
    "I know how to play this game, I didn't start playing yesterday," Hickson said of his quick adjustment to Portland. "I think I'm doing a good job of making myself available, getting the ball where I know I can score. Playing to my strengths... Coach is a great coach, he's young, energetic. He's just like me. Once we get a little more comfortable with each other, you'll start to see great things."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers 95, Oklahoma City Thunder 109 Final: Westbrook Destroys Blazers, Durant Cashes Too
    "The problems on offense were evident from the tip. The Blazers have been disguising Nolan Smith all season by having him dribble the ball up the floor, bail out to the shooting guard, and then drift to the weak side. That works in limited bench minutes. As a starter, not so much. Reading above "the Blazers had no plays in the first period"...that's no accident. Jonny Flynn had some better stretches but he was like Fat Albert at the marathon. Guy can run a little, but he ain't gonna finish. Of the two Flynn showed more ability to helm the team, but that's not surprising. Either way you go though, remember this: Jamal Crawford is literally the only other player on this team who can dribble in anything but a straight line (and Crawford mostly dribbles to get his own). That means the point guard is the only guy who can make and set plays for this team. With Flynn and Smith the entire offense is on their shoulders when they're in there. Neither one is up to that. That's why they're not in there."

    Ball Don't Lie: Eric Gordon may be coming back to play for the Hornets soon
    "I'm sure Hornets fans would have liked to see Gordon back on the floor a lot sooner, especially as they've watched the team sink to the very bottom of the Western Conference and struggle mightily to score points, but you can't really blame Gordon for wanting to feel as comfortable as possible and get as close as he can to certainty that he's ready for contact. Remember, back when this injury-plagued season started, Gordon's right knee issues were characterized as soreness; later, after missing four of the Hornets' first five games and aggravating the injury in a Jan. 4, 2012, affair against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was said that he had a "bone bruise."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeremy Lin had lunch with the since-fired editor who inadvertently referenced his heritage
    "Newsday's Anthony Riebar reports that it was Lin's family that got in touch with the editor via email, after Federico's apology following his dismissal. The only reason it took this long for the two to meet is because, as you may have read, Jeremy Lin is the starting point guard on an NBA team that is playing a slapdash 66-game schedule."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Andrew Bynum jacks a three, gets benched, has a laugh
    "I don’t know what Mike Brown’s problem is. Andrew Bynum was shooting 100 percent from three this week (1-for-1), so why shouldn’t he take a three with 16 seconds left on the shot clock in a close game?"

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.28
    " Kevin Love posted 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks and four three-pointers in a losing effort against the Grizzlies. He shot 46 percent (10-22) from the floor and 100 percent (4-4) from the free-throw line, and had two turnovers. Love has racked up eight blocks in his last three games, which is completely out of character. If he can somehow lift his blocks per game next season, he’ll make a run for top three status."

    SLAM via NY Post: Amar’e Stoudemire to Miss 2-4 Weeks With Buging Disk in His Back
    “The Knicks have given a timetable for Amar’e Stoudemire, and they expect their star forward to return in 2-4 weeks from the bulging disk in his back. After a second opinion agreed with the Knicks original diagnosis, Stoudemire will undergo non-surgical treatment that will include an epidural steroid injection for the injury he suffered in the win over the Pistons on Saturday. The Knicks also announced that Jeremy Lin would not play on Wednesday against the Magic because of soreness in his left knee. It is the second straight game the point guard will miss. Stoudemire, who will fly back from Miami after meeting with doctors, could be back toward the end of the regular season and be ready for Round 1 of the playoffs if the Knicks qualify."

    SLAM: Post-Up: The Contenders
    "Oklahoma City jumped out to a 32-18 lead after one quarter of play and though the Blazers made a 17-2 run in the third quarter to close the gap, the Thunder had too much offense to compete with, cruising to their 4th straight W. Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 25, James Harden had 21 and OKC shot 57 percent from the field—they are 17-0 when shooting 50 percent or better. Portland is now 3-4 since Nate McMillan was canned, and they’ve entered random-starting-lineup territory, last night featuring Nolan Smith’s first start (1-9 shooting, 3 points, 3 assists). JJ Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 21 and 20 points respectively, while Jamal Crawford shot just 1-7 with 2 points and Raymond Felton was not with the team due to a family matter."

    ESPN: How will the East be won?
    "C'mon. Everyone knows that the Hawks have Orlando's (and Atlanta native Dwight Howard's) number. Rest assured that Hawks officials are huddled in a room somewhere as we speak trying to figure out exactly what sort of record they need the rest of the way to lock up the sixth seed and ensure a first-round reunion with the Magic. (If the Hawks unavoidably move up the East ladder over the final month of the season, let's go with Philly and that withering D here.)"


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