Around The World: April 19, 2014

by Casey Holdahl
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Trail Blazers: Simmons: ‘I Don’t Think Houston Can Beat Portland If Beverley’s Not Healthy’

"Controversial opinion: I don’t think Houston can beat Portland if Beverley’s not healthy, because for two reasons. One, he’s really their only guys on the perimeter who can guard anyone. And two, I think he’s kind of the key guys for them from a toughness standpoint and they feed off him. If he’s not right, I think that’s really going to effect them. It puts a lot of pressure on Jeremy Lin."

Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Vs. Rockets: An Overview

“I’m not saying we have an advantage (against Houston’s bench), say we’re going to come out there and beat them. I’m saying we’re going to come out there and try to out-work them and out-play them. I don’t have any doubt in me or the rest of the players that’s coming off the bench with me versus Houston," said Robinson. "The bench play has been good for the past month or so and rolling into the playoffs, everything is clicking right now.”

Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Break In Postseason Sneakers At Practice

“First up, LaMarcus Aldridge in a new red-heavy colorway of his “L-Smooth” Nike Hyperposites. A nice utility colorway that can be worn with Portland’s black road unis, the alternate red unis or the home white unis.”

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers-Rockets Matchups: Robin Lopez Vs. Dwight Howard Offers Contrast In Style, Status - And Superhero Nicknames

“I like playing against very physical centers,” Lopez said. “There’s not a lot of guys I can’t pull my punches against. I can be very physical with him, and that’s something that I don’t always get to do. I embrace that.”

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers-Rockets: Thomas Robinson Says His Motivation Is Winning, Not Exacting Revenge

“I embrace it,” Robinson said. “But, like I said, this is about me helping the Blazers out and getting to the second round, not me getting my revenge against Houston. I’ll do that later in my career.”

Oregon Live: Patrick Beverley: 'It's The Houston Rockets Vs The Portland Trail Blazers Not Patrick Beverley Vs Damian Lillard'

"Phenomenal point guard," Beverley said of Lillard. "All-Star caliber point guard. He's been doing a good job leading his team, especially where they came (from) last year to now. (He) can shoot the ball off the dribble, dangerous from three. It's really hard for the defense to set on a player that can shoot it, he can shoot it with the best of them."

Oregon Live: Rockets' Terrence Jones Excited For Playoffs Even As He Faces The Tall Task Of Guarding LaMarcus Aldridge

“Just trying to play physical, trying to take away middle and just making sure to make it tough on him,” Jones said. “He’s a great player and he can score in a lot of ways, and I just want to make it as hard as possible.”

CSNNW: T-Rob Not Concerned With 'Anything Houston Organization Has To Offer,' Excited To Play Former Team

“I just want to go out there and play,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whom we’re playing, but it’s pretty cool we’re playing Houston. I’m glad I came to a team that I love and we’re playing good right now. It should be a great series. I can’t wait.”

Columbian: Blazers In Transition For Houston

“Every time they rebound they are looking to run and push it,” Stotts said. “It’s a mindset with them. They have multiple ball handlers who can get the ball and go whether it’s (James) Harden, (Jeremy) Lin, (Patrick) Beverley or (Chandler) Parsons. They don’t just rely on one guy.”

Portland Tribune: LA And T. Jones -- Aldridge-Jones A Study In Contrasts

"With all the great power forwards in this league, he's one of them," Jones said. "He's an All-Star. He's a scorer. It's going to be hard to guard him. I'll just do the best I can."

Rip City Project: NBA Playoffs: Trail Blazers & Rockets – Experience Breakdown

"Of the Portland starters, only Lopez and Matthews have made it out of the first round. Aldridge and Batum have only experienced first round exits, while Lillard has no playoff experience whatsoever. That last part concerns me greatly. As an all-star point guard, Lillard has been depended upon as a leader thus far, but he’s approaching uncharted territory. If anyone can rise to the occasion, it’s him, but his inexperience has potential to be a serious weakness."

Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers Vs. Houston Rockets: Q&A With The Dream Shake

"LaMarcus Aldridge presents a number of issues for the Rockets' defense. How they defend him may dictate how the series sways. Terrence Jones is long and athletic, but he's a pretty average defender and struggles against bigger opponents, so putting him on Aldridge might be an issue. However, if the team sticks Howard or Asik on Aldridge, then Jones will have to deal with Robin Lopez. Can Jones stick with either player? That big man combination might hurt the Rockets if Jones does not step up."

ESPN: Masai Ujiri Shouts Expletive At Nets

"Just trying to get the crowd out there rattled -- wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Just trying to get our fans going. That's it."

ESPN: Series Preview: Rockets Vs. Trail Blazers

“3s, 3s and more 3s. If the Blazers shoot enough of 'em and have the slightest luck hitting 'em, they'll win. I'm not picking Portland because this season Houston is a little better at defending the arc (opponents shooting 35 percent, instead of 37 last season), while to my eyes it's especially effective against the Blazers, who make 37 percent of 3s against the league this season but just 32 percent against Houston.”

CNNSI: 2014 NBA Playoffs: 5 Storylines To Watch

"Houston’s pesky point guard played in the final three games of the regular season after missing roughly two weeks with a meniscus injury. Doctors decided that surgery wasn’t absolutely necessary, and Beverley welcomed the opportunity to play. He’s a key cog for the Rockets, and faces the prospect of guarding Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul or Russell Westbrook if Houston wants to make a dark horse run to the Finals."

CNNSI: Grizzlies’ Nick Calathes Suspended 20 Games For Use Of Banned Substance

“According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the substance that Calathes tested positive for was Tamoxifen — an agent classified under the broad classification of “performance enhancer” in the Anti-Drug Program. One of the functions of Tamoxifen is to reduce estrogen levels, which makes it of particular use as a companion dose in a steroid cycle. Tamoxifen then helps counter some of the side effects of anabolic steroids that stem from unusually high levels of circulating estrogen.”

CNNSI: Pacers’ Roy Hibbert: Wrong To Call Out Teammates

“I will admit that it wasn’t the best thing to do. I’ll learn from that, and I was wrong. There are better ways to handle that than going to the media. All in all, I learned. I talked to my teammates; they talked to me. I’m willing to accept the criticism. It wasn’t the best thing to do.”

CBS: KReport: Steve Kerr 'Expects' An Offer From The Knicks, Would Accept It

“The Post has learned Kerr has had conversations with his bosses at Turner Sports about adjusting his schedule as an analyst during the upcoming playoffs should he be named the Knicks' head coach.Obviously, Kerr has no prior head coaching experience, but he has a great relationship with Jackson and with the splash (and success) Jason Kidd has had nearby, it's an interesting possibility.”