Trail Blazers vs Mavericks Saturday, 04/16/11 AT 06:30PM

Around The World: April 15

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.5

    April 15

    Trail Blazers: And Now We Know It's Dallas
    "The season series this year ended tied at 2-2, with the Mavericks winning the first two games back in December and January. The Trail Blazers won the last two contests and one could make a strong argument that those last two contests were far more important, as those games occurred after Gerald Wallace was acquired from Charlotte."

    Trail Blazers: It's Dallas In Round One
    "I sit about five rows behind the Blazer coaching staff on our team plane. No one ever sleeps, and they rarely take time to even enjoy a meal. The minute we get on the plane the laptops open up, and the game DVDs start rolling. Before the door had even closed on the plane in Oakland, McMillan was carefully watching video of the Mavericks. It would roll for a minute, then he'd pause it, rewind, watch a few more times, jot a few notes, and then move on to the next play. Again, this isn't unusual. I'm sure wherever Rick Carlisle was last night he was doing the same exact thing."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers shrug off upset chatter as they complete final practice for opener against Mavericks
    “We know we have to play, we have to play basketball, we have to execute our gameplan,” forward Nicolas Batum said. “We just had very good practice the last two days, so we have to play. That’s it.”

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers veterans Marcus Camby and Andre Miller lead in different ways
    "A guy like Nic, he doesn't talk too much, and he probably thinks he is coach's whipping boy because Coach is always on him," Camby said. "But I tell him that's because Coach sees his potential and how valuable he can be to the team. I tell him that Coach just wants him to be better. I don't think Nic was seeing it that way – he was thinking he could do nothing right, woe is me ... but I said if he's not talking to you, that's when you should be worried."

    Portland Tribune: Cho likes team’s ‘great camaraderie’
    "The other thing is the fan support. You don’t get a real flavor for how rabid the fan base is until you’re here. The fans are so supportive of the team, it makes for a great environment for our players. When you’re here every game, you get a little more feel for all of that."

    Rip City Project: A Playoff Preview (of Sorts)
    "As for my prediction: Portland is peaking at just the right time, not counting bad loses to Golden State. Rudy Fernandez might be coming out of his extended shooting slump. LaMarcus Aldridge will be playing in front of home crowds both in Dallas and in Portland. And this team and its fan base are primed and ready to blow the roof off the Rose Garden. I can see Portland stealing one of the first two in the big D, maybe not Game One, but if not that then Game Two, and holding court at home."

    Blazersedge: Blazers vs. Mavericks: The Matchups
    "Mr. Do-Everything is going to be a handful for the Mavericks, especially since most of the defensive attention will be devoted to Aldridge. We said Shawn Marion had explosive, break-the-game potential. Wallace breaks everything he touches. He's not always on but when he is Portland becomes hard to defend. His combination of distance shooting, driving, passing, and strength makes him a tough cover. His will to defend and rebound plus his propensity for steals makes him equally dangerous on the other end. The best guess is that the Mavs will play against the drive, making Wallace show multiple times that his sterling shooting during his Portland tenure is for real."

    Two Man Game: The Official Two Man Game Official Dallas Mavericks Versus Portland Trailblazers Official Playoff Preview for the Official 2010-2011 Official NBA Post-Season
    "Portland not only has that specific size advantage, but has shown in their last two games against Dallas that they fully intend to exploit it. Ultimately, the Mavs are put in a position in which fielding any of their crucial but diminutive guards — the aforementioned Terry, Barea, and Beaubois — invites an easy post-up opportunity for either Roy or Miller. The three-guard lineup is even more vulnerable, further limiting Carlisle’s rotational options. Terry and Barea will play, but we could be left pondering ways to keep them off the floor, particularly if either player fails to produce on offense."

    Ball Don't Lie: BDL’s Playoff Previews, with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers
    "The team is too long, and it has started to close out on shooters better now that Gerald Wallace is in the fold, and his teammates appear to have acclimated to his ways. Nate McMillan has opened up the taps a bit offensively, and this has clearly become Andre Miller's team with Brandon Roy playing a secondary scoring role off the bench. Pity, but it needed to be done."

    Basketball Prospectus: Playoff Preview
    "The Dallas Mavericks were the most popular elite team in the Western Conference: Everybody wanted to play them in the first round of the playoffs. Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl openly said as much, but despite the fact that the Nuggets did everything they could to knock Dallas into the fourth spot (beating the Mavericks and losing twice to Oklahoma City in the season's final 10 days), Karl did not get the matchup he wanted. Instead, the lucky opponent is the Portland Trail Blazers, who would never dare say anything publicly about their desired first-round opponent but surely preferred Dallas to the Los Angeles Lakers."

    SLAM: Grizzlies’ Extension for Zach Randolph Close to Done?
    “Guess who walked into Staples Center [Wednesday] night side-by-side with Griz forward Zach Randolph? Answer: The team’s owner, Michael Heisley. When asked if that was a sure sign that his contract extension was all but a done deal, Randolph smiled and said: ‘They’re saying its close.’"

    The Basketball Jones: NBA TBJ Playoff Preview: Mavericks vs. Blazers
    "Skeets and Tas give you the crib notes you need for every first-round series of the 2011 NBA Playoffs."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Sacramento has one final, dramatic play to keep Kings as NBA pushes back deadline
    "He's made it very clear to the owners that there's an alternative, a clear alternative, that keeps the Kings in Sacramento," Greif tells the Bee. "Burkle is saying, 'Maybe they (the Maloofs) couldn't afford to keep (the team) here. I can afford to keep it here.' "


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