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Around The World: January 3

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    January 3 Video:Trail Blazers 88, Clippers 93 Video: The Trail Blazers Predict The Rose Bowl Outcome

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: Former guard Nate McMillan takes Raymond Felton under his wing
    "So when McMillan told his team after Sunday’s horrible game that he wanted them to commit to the season with “both feet in,” he might as well be talking about himself as well. He has gone all in with Felton, relinquishing his half-court, isolation sets for Brandon Roy, and exchanging them to suit one of his new talents: the whirling dervish that is Felton."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers @ Thunder Pre-Game Notes
    "Gerald Wallace led Portland in scoring average (26.5) against the Thunder last season in his two appearances as a Trail Blazer. Wallace rang in a season-best 40 points (16-28 FG) against Oklahoma City on March 27."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Takes First Loss After Comeback Falls Short In L.A.
    "Jamal Crawford scored 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 for the Trail Blazers, playing on the road for the first time after opening 3-0 at home. Nicolas Batum added 15 points. They erased most of a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but the Clippers hung on to end a five-game losing streak against their Western Conference rival."

    Trail Blazers: Road Review: Three Ugly Quarters Lead To Portland's First Loss
    "Batum came out strong in the fourth. He scored 11 points nailing all for of his shots from the field, including two shots from long-range. His only miss was a free throw, but he made up for the miscue with three defensive rebounds—second in the quarter to LaMarcus Aldridge. Batum’s shooting, defense and his steal contributed to the 36-24 Trail Blazers domination of the quarter. We’ve been waiting for Nico to make an impact and his solid performance tonight wasn’t the breakout we’ve been hoping for, but was clutch to the comeback."

    Trail Blazers: Barrett: Still Looking For Complete Game
    "Sometime soon we're going to see the Trail Blazers put together a complete game. It certainly hasn't happened yet. In fact, listening to the coaches and players, they haven't been truly satisfied with any one performance so far."

    Rip City Project: Game 5 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder
    "As far as the defensive end goes, the Blazers will have to do their best to limit Durant. KD is currently averaging 27 points a night, and in five nights (as of this writing the Thunder have yet to take on the Dallas Mavericks, a game that will happen Monday evening in in Texas) he has gone for 30 or more four times, the outlier being Saturday’s systematic beating of the Phoenix Suns in which he played 26 minutes, basically none by his standards of court time."

    Blazersedge: Game 5 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers versus Oklahoma City Thunder
    "The one guy not mentioned so far, Russell "Batman" Westbrook, is slumping so far. His per-minute production in points and assists has taken a dive. His field goal percentage is in the toilet. His three-point percentage is even farther down than that. His turnovers are also up. He's still stealing the ball and rebounding, but that's it. Westbrook has been a thorn in Portland's side. The Blazers have actually been able to manage Durant well but Westbrook has then received a free ticket to rip the joint apart. That probably paints this as his resurgence game. But him continuing to struggle would make the Blazers' job exponentially easier. The take-home point is this: even with their second-best player producing some of his worst numbers in years the Thunder haven't lost. That's scary."

    SB Nation: Portland Trail Blazers Alter Offense For Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, But Problems Remain
    "It's very early, but these aren't your same Portland Trail Blazers. Through four games, Nate McMillan's once-plodding group is second in the league in pace, averaging over 100 possessions per game. Before, they occasionally ran for layups off turnovers and pulled back when there was nothing there. Now, they are forcing the action even off missed shots. It's led the Blazers to a 3-1 start--with the lone loss coming in a tight one on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers--and it's made them more dangerous than ever."

    Ball Don't Lie: Roy Hibbert lobbied hard for his “Parks and Recreation” cameo
    "Hibbert added that he's an avid fan of the show and that he hopes to come back for a third episode. But the meat of the interview is the revelation that Hibbert has hipper taste in TV than reigning MVP Derrick Rose. No offense to "The Good Wife," which I hear is very good, but it's tough to top "Parks and Rec" for internet buzz."

    The Basketball Jones: Ghost of Kobe Bryant convinces Mike Brown to let him shoot all the time
    "Oh, come on, Mike Brown. You can’t be using everything in Kobe’s past as reasons to support him shooting everything he encounters. I mean, he won a dunk contest way back when, but that doesn’t mean you should recommend him trying to put the ball between his legs when he’s alone on the break. Things change, people change. Gotta stay with the times, man."

    The Basketball Jones: Dwyane Wade hates vegetables, just like everyone
    "Despite the fact he’s one of the five best players on Earth, has a girlfriend who was a high school crush of some of ours — not saying who, but it could be any of us really — thanks to “Bring It On,” is signed to a lucrative shoe deal with the best basketball player of all-time, had an NBA championship and Finals MVP before he turned 25, and is so good-looking that some our wives — could be anyone, since were speaking in generalities here — can’t help but notice when he’s on the screen, Dwyane Wade is really just a big 6-year-old who is supremely athletic, charismatic and doesn’t want to eat his veggies."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Derrick Williams catches the greatest alley-oop of all-time
    "Look, I’m not saying this is really the greatest alley-oop of all-time. That would be crazy talk, because we all know this is the real greatest alley-oop of all-time. I’m just saying that when you look at the pictures of this dunk, you might be able to be convinced that this really is the greatest alley to have ever been ooped."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 1.3
    "Jarrett Jack posted 27 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, a steal, two blocks and a three-pointer last night against the Jazz. He shot 65 percent (11-17) from the field, 100 percent (4-4) from the free-throw line and had two turnovers. This was a nice bounce-back game after putting up mediocre lines in his previous two games. Jack remains a strong fantasy starter in most leagues, as he’ll rack up plenty of minutes and numbers for the Hornets this season."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Perfect No More
    "Hello, Hotlanta! The Hawks downed the Heat last night in Miami despite facing an early double-digit lead, a nasty throwdown from Chris Bosh and a 28-point, 7-rebound, 6-assist game from LeBron James. Atlanta held Miami to just 10 fast-break points (the Heat came in averaging 25.8 for the season) and turned the ball over just 10 times, keeping MIA’s explosive offense from breaking out. The Hawks took the lead with a 17-5 run in the second quarter, then went zone down the stretch and outscored Miami 33-21 in the fourth quarter, helped by a pair of big threes and an all-around good effort from Tracy McGrady (16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists). Joe Johnson scored 21 points and Jeff Teague added 15 for the Hawks, who went into Miami’s house and handed the Heat loss No. 1 on the season, in front of Lil’ Wayne and his ridiculous outfit."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Early indications are that lockout didn't keep fans from returning in droves
    "Elliott writes that the season's first 32 games were played before 99.2 percent capacity crowds, up from 90.3 from last season. Elliott also points out the big TV ratings for the league's five Christmas Day games."

    ESPN: Power Rankings
    "It's cold to say it out loud but undeniably true: Portland plays faster in the post-Roy era. It's early, obviously, but the Blazers have been a lot more watchable. Especially with Matthews, Felton and Crawford all scoring 20-plus against Denver."


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