Around The World: April 2, 2014

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Trail Blazers: Playoff Tickets Go On Sale Monday

“The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that available tickets for the First Round of the NBA Playoffs will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 7, exclusively on trailblazers.com.”

Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Win Fourth-Straight With Revenge Game Versus Lakers

“At halftime I brought it up again about just moving the ball,” said Aldridge. “I felt like guys thought they had great one-on-one game but I was like, with this team, if you move the ball we’ll go from having a really good shot to a really great shot. So I thought guys listened to that and I thought guys made great reads in the second half.”

Trail Blazers: Call Of The Game: Showtime In STAPLES

“Damian Lillard led all Trail Blazers with 34 points, but no two were more emphatic than his second quarter slam over Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman. In the bat of an eye, Lillard split the Los Angeles defense and rose over two defenders. It was a play that was over in less than five seconds but left a lasting impression. L.A. hung around for a while, but Portland ran away with the victory 124-112 and earned their fourth-straight win in the process.”

Trail Blazers: Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 124, Lakers 112

“He’s been huge all season. Tonight was a better night, where we went to him down the stretch on the block, and he closed it out. Having that option to give him the ball on the pick-and-roll or the pick-and-pop, or throw it to him on the block balances our team out and it makes us the elite team that we’re capable of being.”

Trail Blazers: Aldridge And Lillard On The Cover Of Hoop

“And it’s smart to feed Lillard. Aldridge may be Portland’s leader off the court, but when the game begins, it’s the point guard’s team. And like Don Corleone, he isn’t one to forget a favor. The next time downcourt, Lillard reciprocated with a nifty behind-the-back bouncer. Aldridge missed the shot, but the message was quite clear. Portland is winning because of the selfless way it is playing, and Aldridge and Lillard, the Blazers’ two All-Stars, are setting an example of how to play team ball.”

Trail Blazers: Nicolas Batum Talks Soccer On 'Men In Blazers' Podcast

“In the interview, Batum talks about which players in the “Nicolas Batum” of European soccer, the upcoming Champions League quarterfinal between his favorite team, Paris Saint-Germain (also known as PSG), and Chelsea, which soccer player he enjoys watching the most, who would win an arm wrestling match between PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and LaMarcus Aldridge, taking his teammates to Timbers games, the difference in atmosphere between soccer games in Europe and the United States and his thoughts on France’s prospects in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.”

Oregon Live: Quick: Trail Blazers Fans Need To Take Time To Smell The Roses And Drink The Wine. It's Been A Season For The Ages

“You know, when everything hit the fan, I think it gave us something to respond to,’’ Damian Lillard said. “The whole season had gone so well, it was like: this is as rough as it has been. It gave us something to respond to.’’

Oregon Live: What Are The Trail Blazers' Odd Of Making A Deep Playoff Run?

“But oddsmakers are not bullish on the resurgence. The Bovada online sports book on Wednesday released updated championship odds, and the Blazers are 20-1 odds to win the Western Conference and 40-1 odds to win an NBA championship.”

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' Robin Lopez Is 'One Of The Most Undervalued Players,' Other Takes From TNT Crew

“We all know Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, but Lopez is one of the most undervalued players in this game. You have to love him. He’s a steady player, low maintenance and is great in the locker room. He’s a great center.”

Oregon Live: The Formula To The Hallowed 50-Win Plateau: For The Trail Blazers, It's Focus And Teamwork

“We’ve definitely been a big surprise. I don’t think anyone thought we would be in the playoffs, and to be fighting for that fourth spot, that’s big time,’’ Aldridge said. “But right now, it’s about winning every game. If winning every game gets us that fourth spot, then great. But I think we were so on the opposite end of the spectrum about five games ago that now we are just trying to get into a rhythm.’’

Oregon Live Trail Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge Bypasses Manicure For Sake Of Winning Streak

“My mom even said ‘What are you doing?’,’’ Aldridge said. “But I was like, ‘Three in a row. Nope.'"

CSNNW: Sources: Lillard, Adidas On The Cusp Of Finalizing Multiyear Deal

"In two seasons, Lillard, 23, has become an NBA household name. The reigning Rookie of the Year point guard was the first player in NBA history to compete in all five major All-Star weekend events – the Rookie/Sophomore Game, Skills Challenge, Three Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest, and of course the All-Star Game."

Rip City Project: Four Games, Four Wins: Takeaways From The Trail Blazers’ Streak

“The advanced stats back this up, as during these games, the Blazers’ offensive rating is 111.8 and their defensive rating is 96.8. This is a differential of positive 15, which is just ludicrous. Obviously the team cannot be expected to keep this pace up for the rest of the season, but right before the playoffs, this is an encouraging thing to see.”

CNNSI: The All-Spotlight Team: Five Guards Who Could Emerge In The 2014 Postseason

“Even though his youth ensures that his first taste of the playoffs will be a no-risk, all-reward type of affair, Lillard simply isn’t the overly patient or complacent type. Add all of this up — his personality, the nature of his game, the style of his team, the thrilling potential match-ups, and the positional tests he could face — and Lillard joins Wizards guard John Wall as the postseason newcomers to watch this year."

TrueBrooklyn: Hello Brooklyn? Are You There Yet?

“People don’t have to be a fan of what happens on the court, but guess what: They wear our hats, they wear our jerseys,” Elisa Padilla, the Nets' senior vice president of marketing said. “We’re a lifestyle brand. We’re cool. We’re hip.”

ESPN: Is 2013-14 Worst Rookie Class Ever?

"The good news for Bennett and the other slow starters is that it's certainly possible to overcome a poor rookie campaign. While the 2000 draft never got on track, the 2007 draft offers a more encouraging comparison. Before this season, the 2007-08 rookie class was the second worst on record, and it would have combined for negative WARP if not for the contributions of 27-year-old D-League veteran Jamario Moon. Yet, it eventually produced All-Stars Al Horford and Joakim Noah, valuable starters like Mike Conley and Thaddeus Young -- and, of course, likely 2013-14 MVP Durant."

SLAM: Post-Up: Curry Silences Dallas

“Stephen Curry had a chance to beat the Mavs in regulation but couldn’t knock down a last-second jumper. He made sure that didn’t happen again in overtime, burying the game winner as time expired to give the Warriors a significant road victory against a Western Conference playoff contender.”