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Around The World: April 26

04/26/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.0

    April 26


    CSNNW: Blazer free agents on their future and possible last game as a member of the team
    “I might have to have a minor surgery when the season is over. I'll be out a couple of weeks, nothing serious. But I definitely want to probably play next year...I definitely want to play. I really enjoyed it this year and I think next year if I did decide to come back, I'll be more prepared because this season had so many games crammed together.”

    Trail Blazers: Preview: Trail Blazers, Jazz 5 PM
    "If we knew we were going into the playoffs, of course we're going to keep playing," Matthews said. "But now, short-handed, nine players -- I'm never going to say I'm looking forward to not playing basketball. But the season's winding down for us and we got one more left."

    Trail Blazers: 'Finding Portland' Finds The Rose Garden
    "Luckily, Uncage The Soul Productions, which created the video, stopped at the Rose Garden to capture a game night, which gives me more than enough reason to post the video. It's only a few seconds around the 2 minute mark, but it's still pretty neat. And the Timbers fans out there will want to watch for a few seconds after the Rose Garden's cameo is over."

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: How Portland's most disappointing team, season in 11 years unraveled
    "McMillan and Crawford had several conversations, and according to McMillan, none of them centered around the Blazers and the desire to win. Crawford instead wondered about himself: How much would he play, how many shots, what style of play? When McMillan told him he would have to play defense, Crawford blanched. "

    Oregon Live: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz game preview
    "Utah clinched a playoff berth with a 100-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night. It was the first time the Jazz defeated the Suns since March 10, 2010, ending a seven-game losing streak in the series. ... Harris is averaging 17.6 points, 5.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds, while shooting 45.3 percent from the field in April. ... Hayward also has enjoyed a hot month, averaging 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting 50 percent from three-point range. ... Millsap has excelled against the best power forwards in the Western Conference, averaging 20.4 points 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals against LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki this season. ... The Jazz are 24-8 at home."

    Columbian: Search for meaning in Blazers' finale is largely fruitless
    "Currently shooting .456 from deep, the forward needs to make two more 3-pointers to qualify for a spot among the league leaders. The Knicks’ Steve Novak leads the league at .468. If Babbitt goes 2 for 2, he would shoot up to .473 (he is 42 of 92 as is stands). Possible? Absolutely."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Preview
    "Try to measure up Portland's deep reserves--for whom Blazer fans still have faint glimmers of hope--against their counterparts on another team, as Utah is likely to pull their main guys early tonight if they even let them play at all. You can't tell much from one game, but it's the only angle available."

    Sports Illustrated: Season Grades
    "In the previous two years, the Blazers persevered through an onslaught of injuries to make the playoffs. But after winning seven of their first nine, this was the season it all fell apart. Portland suffered from a point-guard swap that sent Andre Miller to Denver for Raymond Felton, who lacked Miller's thick skin in dealing with taskmaster coach Nate McMillan. That conflict exacerbated the impact of Brandon Roy's retirement; even when ravaged by knee injuries, Roy was a playmaking sage in the backcourt and a trusted alter ego for McMillan. A slew of close losses sapped team confidence, and by the trade deadline, Portland cleaned house, firing McMillan and dealing Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace, with Wallace fetching a top-three-protected first-round pick from New Jersey. The Blazers also finally cut ties with 2007 No. 1 pick Greg Oden, who along with Roy epitomized how much Portland was shortchanged by medical misfortune. With a wealthy owner, a loyal fan base, the New Jersey lottery pick and All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the circumstances exist for a rapid rebuilding. But by most any measure, the 2011-12 season was a step backward."

    Ball Don't Lie: NBA playoff positioning: Which Thursday games matter, and why
    "If Rick Adelman's squad can pull the upset, though, that leaves the door open for Dallas to move up to sixth with a win, because while Denver and Dallas would share 37-29 marks, the Mavs own the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams by virtue of winning three of four regular-season matchups with the Nuggets. That'd send George Karl's team back to OKC for a rematch of last year's first-round #THUNDERNUGGETS extravaganza, while Dirk Nowitzki and company would look to summon the shooting onslaught they used to sweep the Lakers out in the second round a season ago."

    Ball Don't Lie: Tyreke Evans might be on the trading block this offseason
    "And yet, though Evans is clearly to blame for not diversifying his game and building on an impressive rookie year that saw him rank among Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James as the only rookies to average over 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists, you can blame environment as much as you can blame the individual. Evans, whose iffy on-court habits were condoned in a major way by former coach Paul Westphal, wasn't exactly brought up the right way."

    Ball Don't Lie: Steve Nash showered with love by Phoenix Suns fans in what may be his final Suns game (VIDEO)
    "For starters, Nash is arguably the greatest player in the history of the Phoenix Suns (if you'd like to cast your lot for '92-'96 Charles Barkley, I will not fight you in a public square) and he has provided as much pure enjoyment for his team's fans as any player for any team has over the past 10 years, not just in sepia-toned memories of postseason runs, but also this year. But fans turn against stars all the time; what assured these ovations for Nash was his unyielding loyalty."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Nuggets and Clippers play a game on ‘South Park’
    "There wasn’t much basketball to be seen in the basketball parts of last night’s season finale of “South Park,” but the parts that were there are pretty true to life. You’ve got Chris Andersen’s tattoos, JaVale McGee catching an alley-oop and Nick Young’s curly pseudo mohawk/”808s and Heartbreak” Kanye West haircut."

    The Basketball Jones: Grading the various Steve Nash fan signs from last night
    "This is a wonderful sentiment, and one I think most Suns fans agree with. Steve Nash played eight great years in Phoenix, two of which are gravy. If he wants to chase a championship at age 38, I don’t think anybody would blame him. We’ll see what they have to say if he signs with the Miami Heat, but for now, this is how a lot of people feel. Points off, however, for taking maybe 90 seconds to write this sign. More points off for the superfluous 13 that seems thrown on for no good reason."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 4.26
    "Russell Westbrook finished the 2011-12 NBA season with a bang, producing a pretty line of 30 points, six rebounds, nine assists, three steals, four blocks and a three-pointer. He shot 50 percent (10-20) from the field and 90 percent (9-10) from the free-throw line, and had two turnovers. Westbrook is finishing the season with top 20 value, which falls short of expectations. The most noticeable stat is his 5.5 assists per game this season, well below the 8.2 assists he dished out per game last season."

    SLAM: Post Up: Tick Tock
    "In today’s edition of “the Bobcats are so bad…” the end to the sentence is this: JJ Redick hit 6 threes and scored a career-high 31 points. It’s Charlotte’s 22nd loss in a row—four shy of the NBA’s all-time record, set last year by the Cavaliers—and assuming the Knicks take care of business tonight, the Bobcats will be forever known as the League’s worst team, winning percentage-wise at least. Orlando clinched the No. 6 seed in the East despite being without Glen Davis after he sprained his right ankle in the first quarter, setting up a first-round matchup with Indiana. Ryan Anderson played Redick’s sidekick role, notching a 24×13 double-double. DJ Augustin kept the ‘Cats competitive, at very least, with 23 points."

    SLAM via NBA: Derrick Rose Has the NBA’s Top-Selling Jersey This Season
    “Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls secured the top spots as the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise, respectively, based on sales at the temporary NBA Store on Fifth Avenue and on NBAStore.com from April 2011 to present. Rose, who climbed from No. 5 last year to No. 1 on the jersey list for the first time in his career, helped the Bulls reclaim the top overall spot in team merchandise sales for the first time since April 2001. At No. 2 on the list is New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, whose breakout season also propelled him to the most popular jersey spot for February and March. Rounding out the top five are Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (No. 3), Miami Heat’s LeBron James (No. 4) and the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (No. 5). "

           



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