Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
Raymond Felton nearly recorded a triple-double, Kevin Love failed to scoop up enough boards for his rudimentary double-double, and on a day known best for tomfoolery, the Blazers looked all business.
April Fool’s Day provided the Blazers (25-28) the chance to redeem their two prior losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves(25-29), as they left the Rose Garden victorious 119-106. Love didn’t dominate, as he had down in the first two matchups, and his T’Wolve counterparts couldn’t contain any sector of the Blazers offense.
Tonight, the Utah Jazz(27-26) travel to Portland for another divisional battle between playoff hopefuls.
Perhaps this season, Rip City isn’t done yet.
- Is Portland off the “tank train?” PRS’ Rob Simonsen recaps last night’s exhibition.
- Mike Tokito at the Oregonian gives the nod to LaMarcus Aldridge for the battle between All-Star forwards. Aldridge’s team shooting above 50% for the game couldn’t have hurt his case.
- A month ago, the Timberwolves were doing their best Trail Blazers impersonation and hording media hype being labeled as the upcoming youngsters. Now? Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune says times for the T’Wolves are different.
- According to the statistics, Love and Aldridge played to a near stalemate. Benjamin Polk for Truehoop Network affiliate A Wolf Among Wolves says J.J. Hickson was the difference.
[The] stalemate was promptly broken by one J.J. Hickson, massively energetic, thrilled to no longer be (not) playing basketball in Sacramento. Around every corner of this game was the specter of the Wolves’ injury epidemic. The sight of Hickson–unburdened as he is by the fatigue of having played through this exhausting NBA schedule–flying through the air, keeping balls alive, putting back misses, reminds one of how much we miss Nikola Pekovic.
- Oregonian sports preview for tonight’s tussle between the Blazers and Jazz.
- Know all the NBA rules? Nicolas Batum provided an excellent example of offensive goal-tending last night; use your head.
- John Hollinger(via ESPN Insider) not only likes Hashee Thabeet, he likes his free agency value:
OK, let me end this with the most far-out suggestion of all: I still think Thabeet can be a productive NBA big man, and he’ll probably be available on a minimum contract this summer. Clearly, picking him second overall three years ago was a bit overenthusiastic, and whatever team gets him will have to nurture some shaken confidence. But he has an overwhelming NBA skill with a career average of 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes, he finishes shots around the basket, and he can make a 10-footer.
When you tick off those skills it doesn’t sound too dissimilar from Brandan Wright, actually — another long, slender big man who was pounded by big centers but found a niche playing in zones. Thabeet’s value will be in those alignments as well, and at 7-3 he’ll be an imposing figure if he can stay close to the basket.
- Nolan Smith doesn’t share his Portland apartment with a teammate from the court, but rather a teammate from his own bloodline. Matt Calkins for the Columbian has the remarkable story on the Smith siblings.
Thoughts, ideas and challenges to 1-on-1 games, are happily accepted in the comments section.