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News From Around The World: October 24

10/24/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    October 24



    Trail Blazers TV: Just Casey Ft. Kevin Pelton

    Trail Blazers TV: Sportlandia

    Trail Blazers TV: Highlight Hickson

    The Basketball Jones: Pick-and-Pop: 2012-13 NBA League Pass rankings
    "Things are looking up for the Blazers, who cut ties with both of their Ghosts of DNPs Past and added one of the most exciting rookies in the league (Damien Lillard) as well as a guy whose name sounds like it would make a great sandwich (Meyers Leonard). Both are unquestionably positive developments, but there’s still a little too much mediocre on this team, and extending the quintessentially uninteresting Nic Batum like they did is a League Pass Cap Space killer, assuming such a concept exists. Check back in a year or two, though."

    DIME: The Top 20 Power Forwards In The NBA Today
    "As injuries dimmed (or extinguished) the flames of former Trail Blazers Brandon Roy and Greg Oden, Aldridge’s star has been burning brighter every year. He demonstrated that he’s clearly up to the task of being Portland’s go-to guy by posting the second-highest scoring average among power forwards last season, and being chosen for his first All-Star Game. Expectations have decreased for the young Blazers squad, but not for Aldridge. While nobody expects the Blazers to make the playoffs this season, everyone expects Aldridge to continue his All-Star-caliber play and be the leader his young team desperately needs. Luckily for the Blazers, he certainly has the tools to do it. "

    The Basketball Jones: 2012-13 X-Factors: Western Conference
    "When he’s not punching opponents in the junk, Batum shows flashes of brilliance on the court and the Blazers are now paying him as such after the Timberwolves tried to sign him away during the offseason. With Gerald Wallace, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford no longer around to keep him down, Batum is given the starting three position with no one to take his minutes. Can he still produce with higher expectations and reliance on him?"

    Trail Blazers: On The Clock With Coach Terry Stotts
    "This past Media Day, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down and interview the Trail Blazers and Head Coach Terry Stotts ... But these aren't your average, run-of-the-mill basketball questions. Without further ado, here is the first installment of "On The Clock" with the aforementioned Terry Stotts."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers At Jazz Preview
    "Last season, the Jazz were the only team the Trail Blazers faced off against in the preseason. Portland won the first meeting, 110-90 at the Rose Garden, while Utah took the second meeting 92-89 in Salt Lake City. The Trail Blazers and Jazz will meet once more on Oct. 25, again in Salt Lake City."

    Trail Blazers: John Hollinger's Frank Assesment
    "Part-time Portlander and full-time NBA expert John Hollinger gives his assessment of the 2012-13 Trail Blazers on ESPN.com. He questions whether Nicolas Batum can be Robin to LaMarcus Aldridge's Batman, gives his rather bleak projection of Damian Lillard (and Ronnie Price, for that matter) and questions if Portland will be able to rely on so many rookies."

    Oregon Live: Starters will play more, but rest of rotation up in air for Blazers' preseason finale
    “We’ll see how the game goes, but I want to shorten the rotation,” Stotts said. “It’s our last preseason game.”

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Will All-Star ballot change hurt or help Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge?
    "I think that's a good change," Stotts said. "The center position has been kind of redefined over the last few years, and this way, it gets the best players in the All-Star Game."

    Columbian: Trail Blazers waiting to trim roster until they have to
    "Both Harper and Lauderdale are no longer with the team but will not be waived until Saturday, while others like Justin Holiday, Coby Karl, and Adam Morrison are waiting to hear if they have found a home on the packed Portland roster. The Blazers already have 15 players under guaranteed contracts."

    CSNNW: Blazers to make cuts Saturday; Lauderdale, Harper on way to Idaho
    “We didn't think it was fair to make them practice, because they weren't going to travel to Utah,” Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said. “We wanted a smaller traveling party. So we let them go home today because they've been here for like a month, so they can see their family and do whatever before D-League training camp opens.”

    Blazersedge via ESPN: Arnovitz: Can Blazers Afford To Pass If "Right Offer" Comes In For LaMarcus Aldridge?
    "LaMarcus Aldridge is a refined, reliable power forward -- probably a Top 15 player -- but is he truly the centerpiece of a contending team? What if the best blueprint of the team going forward has him at center in a more agile offense? Is he flexible and resolute enough to not only tolerate that adjustment, but embrace it? "

    Blazersedge via ESPN: Hollinger Projects: Blazers To Win 27 Games, Finish Tied-13 In West, Place Wesley Matthews On Block
    "Don't be surprised if the Blazers deal Matthews at midseason, which would allow them to take another spin on the free-agent wheel in 2013. This is particularly true if the young guards play well. Remember, soon the clock will start ticking on Aldridge and his 2015 free agency, and this program will have to show results."

    Blazersedge: Blazers Rookies Prank Luke Babbitt On Team Plane
    "Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews tweeted this photo of teammate Luke Babbitt sleeping while rookies Meyers Leonard and Damian Lillard cheese in the background. Leonard is wearing an Avengers mask to complete the scene."

    Blazersedge via Hardwood Paroxysm: Hardwood Paroxysm Previews The 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers
    "In Nate McMillan's slow-it-down offense, a player like Matthews could get away with not attacking the rim. But Terry Stotts' higher-octane, ball-movement-heavy system and new point guard Damian Lillard's explosiveness lend itself to a style in which the Blazers' starting shooting guard has become a colossal liability. The team may not have much to play for this year outside of another lottery pick, but on a roster that still figures to be in shuffle mode for the next few years, Matthews has to prove that he can adapt to the new coach and point guard."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kevin Love shaves head for breast cancer awareness, with assist from Pro Bowl WR Larry Fitzgerald (VIDEO)
    "Fitzgerald has made several public gestures of solidarity with breast cancer patients, survivors and their families this month, including wearing pink cleats bearing his mother's name and making charitable donations for every ball he catches, touchdown he scores and follower he gains on Twitter and Facebook. Love is following suit, joining with Fitzgerald in promising to donate 25 cents for every view, like, retweet or share of the video above, up to an amount of $250,000, to cancer-related charities. According to the description accompanying the YouTube video, Love's donation will benefit Chicago-based Bright Pink, while Fitzgerald's contribution will go to the American Cancer Society and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Arizona."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The San Antonio Spurs
    "They're still to be feared, though. Tim Duncan can't bank and brawl his way towards wins in the fourth quarters of games in June as well as he used to, but he also played just over 1600 minutes in 2011-12, and should be able to sustain his production as he enters his 16th season. The Spurs didn't plan on minding Manu Ginobili's minutes to the point where he played just seven games last season, a broken left hand took care of that, but that unexpected year off will help buffer the sort of fatigue that usually follows another long offseason full of international ball. Tony Parker? He's 29 years-old!"

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The New Orleans Hornets
    "Then again, there's the sound chance that Anthony Davis — 19-years old, no offense, super-skinny, unloved by referees Anthony Davis — could total 2400 minutes of court action this year. This will, in turn, change things. This isn't Tim Duncan, coming into the NBA with the legal ability to buy a round of brewskis for the boys (Jaren Jackson really did call them "brewskis," it was embarrassing) and stay on the court for veteran-level minutes. Davis is good, though. Game-swinging, good; and he'll certainly have his chances."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Memphis Grizzlies
    "Because of the payroll concerns, internal development was Memphis' finest offseason addition; even more so than acquiring the sound work of scoring guard Jerryd Bayless. The addition of potentially 82 games of the recently-mindful Zach Randolph, whose drop off last season likely had more to do with his sluggishness after having to miss 38 games following a knee injury than it did turning 30 just two weeks into the NBA's 2011 lockout. Randolph has been flat-footing his way towards 20 and 10 for ages, and while the onset of NBA-advanced age might limit his side to side defensive work, all those caroms he grabs on that end will help make up for that production."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2012-13 NBA season prediction countdown: 9-7
    "The Hawks were 22nd in Pace Factor (possessions per 48 minutes) last season, but if they want to maximize the success of their current, athletic, itchy-trigger-finger roster, they should aim to get that stat into the top 10. Coach Larry Drew has promised a much faster pace for this team, but doesn’t it seem like most coaches say that before every season? When’s the last time an NBA coach said, “Play at a faster pace? Nah, man. We’re gonna slow it way down. I’m calling it ‘the molasses offense’. We’re gonna have our point guard roll it up the court every possession like Chris Paul on Xanax.”

    SLAM: Top 50: Rajon Rondo, no. 8
    "It’s fair to say that there is certainly no current player who compares to Rondo, and there might not have been another player with his makeup ever in the past, either. Between his bouts of MVP-type brilliance, KD-like length, Deion-like timing, stop-and-go quickness, pass-first (and second and third) outlook, single-mindedness in getting where he wants to go and clunky J, Rondo made a new mold with his game… and broke it so no one could copy it. Yes, statheads, a lot of his attributes aren’t quantifiable… but it’s all very real. Just ask the guys who play with him."

    ESPN: 76ers' Andrew Bynum still sidelined
    "His debut is on hold and no one knows when Bynum will return. He will continue to be held out of all basketball activity until he is pain free from a bone bruise he suffered during an offseason workout. The Sixers had pegged Wednesday as their franchise player's potential return date after a three-week layoff that cost him the entire preseason slate. Instead, Bynum was on the sidelines while the rest of the Sixers practiced and scrimmaged."

    Sports Illustrated: Handicapping the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year race
    "Lillard will no doubt lose the highlight-play battle with Davis, and he will have to fight for his fair share of recognition, as he’s playing in a small market on the West Coast. But his shooting ability, poise and calm, professional demeanor should win him plenty of advocates among media members and fans alike. That he’s 22 and already possessing an NBA-ready body should help his early transition. In terms of return on potential investment based on the listed odds, Lillard is the best bet."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2012-13 NBA season prediction countdown: 12-10
    "Then again, Jefferson and Millsap are both on expiring contracts so I suppose they could just wait it out and let Favors and Kanter marinate in bench sauce for one more season. If it was up to me (“Thankfully it isn’t,” says every Jazz fan), I’d shop Jefferson and try to land a starting-quality wing player in return so that Marvin Williams can return to his ideal role as a sixth man. A starting frontcourt of Favors and Millsap with Kanter coming off the bench improves the defense of their starting unit and ensures that Kanter gets enough playing time to impress the other team’s cheerleaders."

    The Basketball Jones: The once and future kings of Lakerland
    "As Dwight Howard entered to a sea of cheers and adulation that moved him to the point of tears, not a soul in the gathered crowd of the 18,997 on hand mentioned Andrew Bynum. Not one No. 17 jersey in the stands. Not one person said they missed him and not one kid cried cause his old favorite was gone, as I did in 1998 in a Jack in the Box parking lot the night Eddie Jones was traded. And it was this whitewashing of Andrew Bynum and what he had once represented to the Los Angeles Lakers that struck me as totally weird, and not because I think Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard in any measurable way and definitely not because I missed him, as previously published opinions will support."

    SLAM: Top 50: Russell Westbrook, no. 9
    "This article isn’t about proving whether Westbrook’s worthy of the No. 9 spot on SLAMonline’s Top 50 list, but rather your willingness to accept that Westbrook is just that damned good. That his status is only on the rise, that it hasn’t plateaued. Does he have his flaws? Of course. If that jumper of his was money, if he wasn’t at times reckless with his decision-making, if he didn’t wear egregious outfits from time to time… well, you wouldn’t be able to place him at No. 9 on this list."

    SLAM: Top 50: Carmelo Anthony, no. 10
    "Quadel Yates wrote, “Carmelo Anthony is a great player. He achieved a lot in the past year, taking the Knicks to a new level of hype. Ever since he joined the Knicks, their fan base has grown larger. He is a great shooter, setting a new record for the most three pointers in one game during the Olympics. Carmelo deserves his spot on the Top 50 players of the year” no matter what spot it is because Mr. Rubenstein would never accidentally show us the rankings before they were made available to the public."

    DIME: The Top 20 Shooting Guards In The NBA Today
    "Matthews is pretty much the definition of a solid but thoroughly unspectacular player. At 26, he’s probably not going to improve much going forward, but he’ll still be an important piece for the Blazers as they try to reset the franchise’s direction. He can shoot from deep (steady in the 38-40 percent range throughout the first three years of his career), doesn’t turn the ball over often and is generally a strong defender. In all, the Blazers could do much worse than pairing Matthews with promising rookie Damian Lillard in the backcourt."

    ESPN: East Side: What to look forward to
    "An NBA with little to no flopping. I know it's just the preseason, but you can already tell the players decided to put on their big-boy pants (big-boy shorts?) and not let the league call them out for deceitful play."

    ESPN: West Side: What to look forward to
    "The return of Derrick Rose later in the season. The 2012 playoffs felt incomplete without him."

    Sports Illustrated: The Lakers won the offseason, but the Heat enter the season at No. 1
    "Portland might have gotten the steal of the draft at No. 6 with Damian Lillard, who was the co-MVP of the Las Vegas summer league after averaging 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. With LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, the team is set at forward. Can rookie Meyers Leonard develop into the center they hoped Greg Oden would be? Either way, he'll play. The only other proven big men on the roster are J.J. Hickson and Jared Jeffries, neither of whom is suited for the center position."

    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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