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News From Around The World: October 29

10/29/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    October 29



    Trail Blazers TV: Pre-Season Rookie Plays

    Trail Blazers TV: Just Casey

    Trail Blazers TV: Sportlandia

    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."

    DIME: The Top 10 Candidates For NBA Rookie Of The Year
    "Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is the only rookie that may see more court time than Davis. Pegged as the future of the position in Portland before he finished shaking David Stern’s hand on draft night, no other rookie will shoulder the amount of responsibility this season as Lillard. The keys to the offense? New coach Terry Stotts has already given Lillard the keys, two spare tires, a GPS system and a AAA membership. Part of this is because of Lillard’s impressive ability to control a game. The other part is due to Nolan Smith and Ronnie Price being the only other point guards on the Blazers roster."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Waive Five Players
    "The Portland Trail Blazers have requested waivers on Demonte Harper, Justin Holiday, Coby Karl, Dallas Lauderdale and Adam Morrison, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey."

    Trail Blazers: Jared Jeffries And The Belief In A Dying Concept
    “Jared’s done a great job helping me along with LaMarcus, they’ve obviously been in the league a pretty long time,” said Leonard. “They’ve been through it, they know the right positions to be in, how to guard different guys and things like that so they’ve really helped me out.”

    Trail Blazers: Thorpe: Lillard The Next Rose/Westbrook/Irving?
    "The sixth overall pick seems headed for a long career as a starting point guard, which would mean Portland had a successful draft. But if Lillard is able to score and run his team as he did in Vegas and in some games this preseason, then the Blazers could very well end up with the top player from this draft."

    Trail Blazers: Playoffs
    "On that subject, I want our staff, our fans and even the media to cast their sights a lot higher than just making the playoffs. I want to win it all, and at my age, sooner rather than later. To win the championship in the NBA, I believe you need to stay healthy with a 10-man rotation in which everyone contributes, whether he plays six minutes a game or 36. The Blazers are not there yet but they’re pointed in the right direction."

    Trail Blazers: NBA Scout: LaMarcus Aldridge "Tougher Than I Thought He Was"
    "Put it this way: I'd take him over Chris Bosh. Aldridge has improved a lot. He keeps getting better and better, and he has improved his consistency. He's fine in the post, but what he does best is shoot the crap out of it."

    Oregon Live: Blazers practice report: Ronnie Price update; LaMarcus Aldridge voted captain; Terry Stotts looks like Peyton Manning
    “Players listen to him,” Stotts said. “I know that LaMarcus’ heart is in the right place, and when you lead with a purity of heart, I think that makes it easier.”

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers building blocks: Nicolas Batum, The Gamble
    "I need someone to know what I can do, I have to show to everybody what I am. I'm not a scorer. I'm not a passer. I'm not a defender. I'm everything. I can get 15, five and five," Batum says, referring to points, rebounds and assists. "Maybe 17, six and five. I think I can do that or something around those numbers."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers building blocks: LaMarcus Aldridge, The Centerpiece
    "What I took from this meeting that made me more confident was that this isn't a total rehaul," Aldridge said. "He said we have young guys this year, but we have cap room next year, and we can bring in another older player, another good player, and that can help us get over the hump next year. He also said they still want this to be my team, for me to lead it, and that we aren't trying to get rid of you or trade you in the next year or two. That's the number one thing I wanted to hear."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers building blocks: Wesley Matthews, The Example
    "I can take criticism; I just don't like ignorance. And for someone to say something about somebody who hasn't been put in that position to be fairly judged, that's ignorance to me. For someone to comment on my potential, that's ignorant. Because how do you know what I can do? My response is try me. Try me."

    Columbian: Blazers notes: Bone bruise slows down Matthews
    "Matthews described two instances on Saturday: Jared Jeffries defending and his knee brace hitting Matthews' exposed knee cap and Will Barton cutting on offense but also ramming into the same sensitive area. Last week, Matthews missed the end of one practice after a collision with Nolan Smith on — you guessed it — his right knee."

    CSNNW: Stereotypical Comparisons: Leonard says his game closer to Chandler, not Przybilla
    “The way he [Chandler] moved in pick-and-roll scenarios on both ends, I feel like he guards the pick-and-roll well, and I feel like I can get out there and do that,” Leonard said. “And obviously, coming up with the Hornets, especially when he was playing with CP-3 [Chris Paul] catching lobs at the rim, similar to how me and Dame [Lillard] were in Summer League. His game is what I've studied for a while now, because I think we have some of the same skill sets.”

    Blazersedge via Oregon Live: Quick: Neil Olshey, LaMarcus Aldridge Say Franchise Player Won't Be Traded For 2 Years
    "What I took from this meeting that made me more confident was that this isn't a total rehaul," Aldridge said. "He said we have young guys this year, but we have cap room next year, and we can bring in another older player, another good player, and that can help us get over the hump next year. He also said they still want this to be my team, for me to lead it, and that we aren't trying to get rid of you or trade you in the next year or two. That's the number one thing I wanted to hear."

    Blazersedge via CBS Sports: Berger: Blazers Picked As West's "Demise Team" For 2012-13 Season
    "Demise team (West): Trail Blazers. On one hand, you pity the Blazers for all the miserable injury luck they've had. On the other, with their arrogant ownership and penchant for going through GMs like I'll be going through beef jerky in the hurricane this week, there's a what-goes-around-comes-around feel to the Blazers' demise. Whichever side of that argument you're on, there's no doubt the Blazers will be positively awful this season. In a pitiful sort of way."

    Blazersedge via Grantland: Bill Simmons Previews 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers: 41 Wins, No. 8 Seed In Playoffs
    "Alright, soccer moms from Portland. My friends. I'm going way over. I have them winning 41 games and being the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Portland Trail Blazers. First of all, a little 'nobody believes in us' here. Everybody is writing them off. LaMarcus Aldridge is a top-20 guy. Batum. I think they struck oil with this [Damian] Lillard kid. Have you seen him? I have single-handedly changed my opinion changed my opinion of him. You said [Anthony] Davis is the Rookie of the Year, I think it's up for grabs. It's up for grabs. If this kid averages 19 points a game, if he puts them in the playoffs over New Orleans, it becomes a discussion. All I'm saying is don't bet your life on Anthony Davis as Rookie of the Year, if this kid is as good as he looks in the preseason."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Golden State Warriors
    "Stephen Curry is the man, now, coming off a season that saw him play just 23 out of 66 games and an exhibition season that saw the hybrid guard continually reaching for his pained joints down above his high-tops. Curry is surely surrounded by capable young talent, but it's his ability to keep defenses honest with his driving, dishing and shooting abilities that will be banked on to make this whole inside/out pairing with Bogut work. It's a lot of pressure to place on the 24-year old, a guy that has always had Ellis to lean on as a co-conspirator, but he's capable if the ankles are willing."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Utah Jazz
    "Jefferson and Millsap, two players that really would should have no business playing well alongside each other, will probably fight all year to turn into The Guy That Stays in Utah following this season. Jefferson has done exceedingly well at continuing to remain a low post scorer (that rarest of NBA commodities, with that weird push-hook of his) that turns the ball over once a fortnight, and how many NBA players have adapted this brilliantly to as much frontcourt weirdness as Millsap, a guy that made life miserable on both ends for NBA small forwards last season?"

    Ball Don't Lie via Washington Post: Martell Webster loses his keys, sleeps in his car, says ‘if you haven’t slept in your car then you’re weird’
    "As long as I had shelter I was good," Webster said. "By the time I had figured out my keys were in Kansas City everybody was gone. I didn't want to call anybody, I didn't mind. I'm from the Northwest, we do weird stuff like sleep in our cars — not a problem. If you haven't slept in your car then you're weird."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Oklahoma City Thunder won the James Harden deal, but the parting will be painful
    "Overall, it's a brilliant move. We're not expecting great things from the low level-lottery pick the Thunder will take in from Toronto, but the Thunder found a way to stay nearly as competitive while attempting to grab some needed depth along the way. And though the expiring contract market is often overvalued, they won't have Martin's eight-figure salary to worry about come July."

    The Basketball Jones: Eddy Curry is the Mavericks’ starting center
    "Amazingly, Eddy Curry actually had a start with the 2011-12 NBA Champion Miami Heat last season. As I’m sure you would guess, it was during a completely meaningless game, the Heat’s last of the season. It came against the Wizards and the Heat lost by 34, which is kind of what you’d expect with Eddy Curry as your starting center. Before that, his last start was with the Knicks in March of 2008, which they of course lost. Prior to that, the Knicks lost another four games with Curry as their starting center."

    The Basketball Jones: Where do the Thunder and Rockets go from here?
    "They chose between Westbrook and Harden and chose Westbrook; they chose between Ibaka and Harden, and chose Ibaka. In a super teams era where it is demonstrably proven that teams need multiple consistent half court scoring options to succeed, Oklahoma City just lost a high quality one without gaining the means to replace him. They won’t have cap space, won’t pick from the top of the draft again, and now rely a great deal on the development of Lamb and the knees of Jones and Eric Maynor. They’re still good, very good, but they took a backwards step when they needed a final forward one. If an expiring contract doesn’t equal cap space, it doesn’t really matter how large it is. Not unless you’re going to use it in trade, as Houston just did."

    DIME: Why Just 4 Players Deserve A Fourth-Year Extension
    "Outside of Harden, whose deal is expected to happen, there is only one player who fits the criteria to be signed now: Ty Lawson. Few are the NBA matches between system and player that fit so well outside of Lawson in George Karl’s fast-paced attack, but the success is in Lawson’s ability to play within the offense. Compared with Russell Westbrook, Lawson is a superior player by advanced statistics, including the wins per minute and total wins Lawson contributes. He does it through shooting much better and keeping his turnovers low compared with Westbrook, a player whose $78 million deal, albeit much-deserved, is based on his incredible athleticism. The mistakes he makes, and that he shot more than any other player on the Thunder last season while being the sixth-best shooter — even in an NBA where shoot-first points are the norm, he’s an outlier — is the cold water splashed on arguments about Westbrook’s worth. Not talent, which is unquestionable, but worth."

    DIME: Dime Q&A: Bradley Beal Talks Wizards & His Call Of Duty Skills
    "It’s been a pretty smooth transition. The speed of the NBA is surprising, but I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job so far. Mainly I’ve just been making sure to be mentally and physically prepared to play. There’s obviously a jump in the level of competition so I just always want to be prepared for every game. These guys are professionals, so I know I have to do my best to be a professional as well and approach every game with the same preparation and focus. "

    SLAM: Top 50: Chris Paul, no. 3
    "He can score, he has a dead-eye mid-range game, he’s an incredible defender (he’s led the NBA in steals in four of his seven seasons), he commands respect and demands respect (ask Pau Gasol), and nobody in the NBA is better at running a team. I’ve been around the NBA for almost a dozen years now, and CP3 is one of my favorite people I’ve covered. He’s a solid guy, who values family and relationships, who looks you in the eye when he speaks to you. He’s the kind of guy who, if he wants it, could have a career in politics when he retires. Then again, retirement is a ways away: CP3 is still three years shy of 30."

    SLAM: Top 50: Kobe Bryant, no. 4
    "All season, Kobe’s usage rate was as low as it’s ever been and he played smart, efficient basketball, often carrying the team through difficult stretches, as Shaq and Malone were hobbled by injuries. But then came the Finals. Tired of playing little brother to O’Neal, dogged by the looming threat of his legal troubles and fueled by his Game 2 heroics, Kobe played like a man possessed. He should’ve gotten an exorcism."

    Sports Illustrated: 2012-13 Season Predictions
    "Lillard spent four years in college -- yes, four years -- learning how to run the pick-and-roll, the play that permeates the NBA. He shot better than 41 percent from three-point range during his senior year at Weber State, so teams won't be able to play off him, giving Lillard plenty of opportunities to drive and dish. He will be paired with the ideal pick-and-roll partner, LaMarcus Aldridge, who can pop out for short jumpers and dive to the rim for layups and dunks. Lillard is not as quick as Chris Paul or as explosive as Russell Westbrook, but he is powerful and polished, so he should be able to plow through the so-called rookie wall. The Blazers will be much improved and Lillard will receive a lot of the credit."

    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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