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News From Around The World: December 19

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

    December 19

    Trail Blazers TV: Lillard and Barton Host Reading Assembly

    Trail Blazers TV: Trail Blazers Courtside

    Trail Blazers TV: Sportlandia

    Trail Blazers TV: Jared's Jams

    Trail Blazers: Luke Babbitt's Readiness To Adapt Helps Trail Blazers
    "Defense is closing out hard on me so you know if I'm in their scouting report as a three-point shooter you have to do other things," Babbitt said. "Put the ball on the floor a little bit, go right, go left and make pull-up jumpers."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Players Visit St. Mary's Home for Boys, Deliver $50,000 Check
    “There is no better time than right now for all of us to shine the light on the critically important work that St. Mary’s is doing for boys in communities across Oregon,” said Traci Rose, Trail Blazers Vice President of Community Relations and CEO of the make it better Foundation."

    Trail Blazers: Practice Report: Aldridge Out, Injury Updates, Prepping For Denver
    "He’s also prepared to adjust his game tomorrow to compensate for the loss of Aldridge. “Everybody gotta step up. Take off 21 points, nine rebounds, your go-to guy, you All-Star, so everybody gonna have to step up tomorrow,” Batum said. “Wes gonna be back tomorrow, so we have to step up. I don’t know if I gonna play the four sometimes. Gallinari play the four when they play small, so we can play small. We play high-tempo because we know Denver love to run, go up and down, so we try to play with 16 [second] shot clock, something like that.”

    Trail Blazers: VIDEOS: Lillard Sinks The Game-Winner, Hickson Brings The Streak To Five
    “It was 11 seconds left and we was just gonna run a flat, I was gonna take the last shot, but we knew they had a foul to give. I tried to get the shot off when he went to foul me with four seconds left. But at the end it was a play like we did in Cleveland, if Nic wasn’t open then I would throw it to Luke, get the hand back and try to get a shot up. Luke did a good job of coming to the ball, he handed it back to me and I was able to get it.”

    Trail Blazers: Kia Read To Achieve At Montclair Elementary
    "I can remember, when I was in elementary school, it would have meant a lot to have an NBA player come and be around, read with me and have fun with me," said Lillard. "I'm glad that I can come back and do that for the kids."

    CSN: Oakland's Lillard top rookie
    “Poise and pace,” said one Eastern Conference assistant coach when asked what impressed him most about Lillard. “He does not get too rattled when things are going bad and when they are good he appears to keep the same focus. He shoots it well and makes good passes, but the poise and pace, while obscure, are more important to his success. He is not afraid of the big moment, either. Which is big.”

    Oregon Live: Damian Lillard remains ahead of the class in NBA rookie rankings
    "Against the Spurs last Thursday in front of a national cable television audience, Lillard had arguably his best game to date, scoring a career-high 29 points, to go with seven rebounds and six assists in a 98-90 win. Lillard's performance earned praise from San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich for his demeanor. Sunday, Lillard's 16-point night was punctuated by a last-second game-winner over Anthony Davis' New Orleans (insert team nickname here)."

    Oregon Live: Blazers rundown: Nicolas Batum's record-setting game reveals growth as facilitator
    “I create more,” Batum said. “That’s what the coach wants for me. He wants me to create with the ball, to facilitate in the game and that’s what I tried to do. I mean I (almost) got 10 assists in two games.”

    Oregon Live: Blazers' Victor Claver bounces back and forth from D-League into expanded role
    “He has a very complementary game,” Stotts said. “He makes hard cuts, he moves without the ball, he executes well. He sees the game, he has a great sense for it, he passes the ball well. And, like I said, I think when he’s been in there with the starters ... he complements what they do well and gets the ball moving.”

    Columbian: Candace Buckner column: No lack of belief for Blazers rookies
    "Yeah, he's the Rookie of the Year," fellow first-year player and teammate Will Barton said about Lillard. "Except when I look into the mirror."

    CSNNW: Aldridge doesn't think he's "untouchable," a realist about business of basketball
    “Nobody is safe. Nobody,” Aldridge said adamantly. “You can never get too comfortable in this league. It's a business. I don't look at myself and think I can't be touched. I'm just being real. All I can do is go out there and play basketball to the best of my ability.”

    Rip City Project: Biggest Blazer Stories of 2012
    "With their sixth pick, the Blazers selected a red-shirt junior from Weber State University. Although nobody knew too much about Damian Lillard or where exactly Weber State was, he led the nation in scoring for part of his final college season, was Big Sky Player of the year, and in three seasons of play finished as the number two scoring in Wildcats history. Lillard was projected to land in the lottery, but a string of outstanding workouts, including one in Portland, elevated his draft stock. The Blazers might have gambled on draft night, leaving Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, and Austin Rivers on the board, but at this point in the 2012-13 season every team short of the Hornets that drafted before Portland probably wishes they’d taken Lillard instead of the guy they chose."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Pau Gasol returns and Steve Nash will soon, but Lakers still teetering
    "However, Gasol's return also brought back old issues, particularly Gasol not being on the court down the stretch, the L.A. Daily News' Jill Painter writes. Last night, Gasol was on the bench for the final 2:36, getting subbed out when the score was tied 95-95. At least coach Mike D'Antoni had the built-in excuse to stave off controversy -- that Gasol still needs to be back into game shape."

    Blazersedge via Hickory High: Levy: Blazers F/C J.J. Hickson Finds His Identity After Dealing With Huge Expectations In Cleveland
    "Instead, Hickson began his career with LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Cleveland desperately needed a star to pair with LeBron and so the focus of Hickson's player development was on his potential instead of his present. Stars score and create their own shots, and thus he was lavished with isolation possessions and opportunities to work with the ball on the wing instead of in the paint. Hickson spent three seasons in Cleveland. In each of the last two, the number of mid-range jumpshots he attempted rose, topping out at 5.9 per 40 minutes in 2011. The percentage of those shots which were unassisted also dropped precipitously over that time span. In 2011, his only season in Cleveland without LeBron, he attempted 331 shots from 10-23ft., making just 32%, with just 64.1% of those makes having been assisted on. This season he is averaging just 2.6 shots per 40 minutes from that range, making 57.1%."

    Ball Don't Lie: LeBron James says he bikes to most Heat home games to stay in shape
    "LeBron James is the most amazing physical specimen in the history of basketball, so it may seem a little odd that a little bit of biking every day would keep him in better shape. Something like, say, playing NBA basketball would seem to do more to keep him healthy. Plus, the stats show that LeBron's current 37.8 minute average tops only two seasons in his career, one of which are within 0.3 minutes of this mark. James is getting older, but it's not as if his body's breaking down. His minutes total is perfectly in line with what he's done before."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Chicago Bulls are considering cutting Nate Robinson for various nebulous reasons
    "Nate Robinson is so far removed from being Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s type of player that it allowed for much laughter from NBA followers last summer when word broke that the team was set to sign Nate. And yet Hinrich has been so poor this season that even Nate Robinson has been able to take minutes from him. Thibodeau has no qualms running starters 40 minutes a night on the second half of back to backs, Hinrich is a defensive-minded coach’s son that never breaks plays, and yet he’s losing minutes to the guy that shot the ball at his own hoop a few years back."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kenneth Faried puked on the Nuggets bench during win over Spurs (VIDEO)
    "It might, however, be the best NBA-related puking in recent years. A strong argument can be made for Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry's boot during the 2010 Western Conference finals, because that happened during the playoffs and involved deep-fried avocado, but Gentry didn't log five more minutes of running up and down the floor, trying to defend Duncan and crash the boards, all without spitting up every few seconds. He mostly just got to sit there and hang out with Dan Majerle. That sounds like a way cooler deal. (If I am forgetting any relevant NBA pukings, of course, please let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.)"

    Ball Don't Lie via NBA: Joakim Noah, responding to recent events, will not be pantomiming gunplay in celebration of a made jump shot
    “You can’t joke around with things like that,” Noah said after the game. “Too many people are dying because of guns. We have a problem here with guns. So just trying to be a little bit compassionate about what’s going on.” The gesture began in practice back in 2010-11, Noah explained, and eventually turned into a habit. “I hit a jump shot in Keith Bogans‘ face and I started doing the guns and kept doing it,” he said. “It was kind of like a funny, comical thing. But I guess we’re in a situation right now where it’s not funny.”

    SLAM via Newsday: Amar’e Stoudemire willing to come off the bench
    "Amar’e Stoudemire said he wants to help the East-leading Knicks, not disrupt them. After scrimmaging for the first time in about two months, the six-time All-Star and $100-million man said he would be willing to come off the bench if that’s what Mike Woodson wants. “Whatever it takes to win,” Stoudemire said. “You guys know me. Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been all about winning and been a total team player. So whatever it takes to win, that’s the goal.” Woodson wouldn’t address Stoudemire’s role because he’s still not ready to play."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Back On Track?
    "Something about the Lakers celebrating a one-point victory (at home!) against the Bobcats like it was a playoff game was unsettling. The Bobcats were up by 18 before the Lakers caught fire and ripped off a 28-4 run, but Charlotte hung tough and pushed the Lakers to the final second. After Charlotte tied it up at 97, Kobe hit two straight tough shots to go up four. The Lakers had a mental lapse as Dwight Howard was called for goaltending and Jodie Meeks fouled Ramon Sessions who completed a three-point play to cut the deficit to one. Kobe missed a jumper on the other end and with 21.2 left on the clock, the ‘Cats had a chance to win. Kemba Walker drove to the rack but his layup was partially blocked, Gerald Henderson gathered the rebound but just missed his follow-up layup. The ball came out to Ben Gordon at the top of the key but missed a desperation three as the clock expired."

    DIME: Fast 5: Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class, Vol. 3
    "If you are a star for the Kentucky Wildcats ,your odds at going No. 1 in the NBA Draft are currently at 66.67 percent (two out of three) in the John Calipari era. This year there are a few Wildcats that have a shot at No. 1 and the most unlikely of the three has risen to the point that some feel he is now in consideration. Archie Goodwin is one of the better guards in the country, having played some one early. He’s now back to his more natural two spot. Since Ryan Harrow has returned to the team moving Goodwin back to his traditional slot on the line-up, Goodwin has averaged 14.2 points and 5.2 assists a game. He is shooting the ball well from two (50 percent), three (almost 47 percent) and getting to the free throw line (7.2 attempts per game) at a high rate."

    ESPN: Trade debates: Who stays, who goes?
    "Agree strongly. They should've never drafted him. At the time GM Geoff Petrie was trying to save his job and wanted a guy who could come in and play right away. A few years later, it's pretty clear that Evans peaked in his rookie year. The Kings are a mess and Evans' style of play doesn't help things, and, again, his stock is so low, I'm not sure what the value will be. One team to watch is the Celtics -- Danny Ainge loved him before the draft. I'm not sure Boston has the assets to get a deal done, but I could see the Celtics trying to make something happen."

    Sports Illustrated: Jackson on a mission to change the culture in Golden State
    "If I go into the gym before practice, I got a gym full of guys," Jackson said. "After practice, I've also got a gym full of guys. I can be at the facility at 9 p.m. and guys are coming in, watching film, getting shots up. It's unbelievable. I've never seen anything like this."

    Sports Illustrated: Give And Go: Assessing Gasol, Bargnani, other popular trade targets
    "Millsap is far from unimpeachable as a defender — his head may still be spinning from Blake Griffin’s whirling around him for bucket after bucket a few weeks ago — but his deficits on that end are ultimately manageable. That’s high praise compared to what one might say of Jefferson, who defends the pick-and-roll as if his shoes were cinder blocks. No one can argue with Jefferson’s scoring or rebounding production, but the fact that he’s 27 and about as defensively mobile as Kurt Thomas is a pretty glaring problem — one that even a fully actualized Derrick Favors won’t completely solve. That he’ll undoubtedly draw substantial contract offers only makes the concern that much greater. While the Jazz didn’t blink at taking on Jefferson’s contract in a trade, it’s very different when a team with bankable prospects is forced to commit a huge slice of its cap space to a player who will be a perpetual drag on its performance at one end of the court."

    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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