Around The World: April 3, 2014

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Trail Blazers: Robin Lopez On Disneyland, Mascot Beef, Goonies, And Being 'Weird As Hell' On The Jim Rome Show

“My favorite Goonie has to be Data or Mouth. First of all, I think Mouth is definitely Wesley Matthews of our team. Data is probably Nic. I think Mikey would have to be LA because he’s the heart of the team. I would be Chunk. He claims he saw Michael Jackson, that scene where he’s talking about he’s in a movie theater and he started throwing up and making everybody else throw up. That’s classic stuff right there.”

Rip City Two: Jerome Kersey Interview

“90-91, a 63-19 team, lost in the conference finals to the Lakers. I often talk to BJ Armstrong, he played on the Chicago team that year and he's like, "We're glad the Lakers beat you that year." We had their number, we had a great team that year. We'd all come together that first year in 90 but we came back the next year and that was our best team.”

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

Now, after Tuesday’s 124-112 win over the Lakers, the Blazers have won four in a row. Phoenix is up next with a Friday game at the Moda Center. By then, Aldridge’s nails might be daggers. “You can’t cut them now,’’ Aldridge marveled.

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers Slowly Increasing Playing Time For LaMarcus Aldridge

“I don’t like coming out and going back in — I’m not a herky-jerky-type player,” he said. “I like to be in for a long period of time. As long as I’m not coming in and out quickly, I’m fine.”

Oregon Live: Numbers Show Trail Blazers Find Success When They Move The Ball

“During the Blazers’ recent three-game losing streak, they got assists on 55.3 percent of their field goals (52 of 94). During their current four-game winning streak, they are at 62.4 percent (98 of 157).”

Oregon Live: Idle Trail Blazers Gain On Houston, Get More Cushion On Golden State After Both Lose

“Howard has missed six of the last eight games, and Beverley has missed the last three, and the Rockets have lost three in a row. The Blazers, however, would have to finish with one more win to gain the No. 4 seed over Houston, which won the season series 3-1 against them.”

Oregon Live: Damian Lillard Enjoying Trail Blazers' Playoff Chase

"I'm having a lot of fun," second-year point guard Damian Lillard said of the down-to-the-wire playoff race in the Western Conference. "Because we're 22 games over .500 this late in the season and we're still trying to clinch a playoff spot. It's kind of crazy but it shows you how tough the West is. When the competition is that high, when it's at that level, that makes everything more fun because it matters more."

Rip City Project: Patrick Beverley Injury Revives Homecourt Hopes For Portland

“While Beverley (meniscus) is likely to return this year, it is unlikely that he will be back during the regular season. The Rockets have 9 games remaining on their schedule (4 home, 5 away) in which to stumble for the Trail Blazers’ benefit. Remember, they are also without Howard (ankle) for the time being, so their chances of victory are slimmer than their reputation would indicate.”

Blazersedge: ACB: Blazers F Victor Claver "Wants To Have The Chance To Play"

"For me it would be very tough to have another season like this" said Claver to EFE. "I am inactive or active but I don't know if I play. I am playing in a very good team but I want to have the chance to play. I don't know if in Portland because I don't know what is going to happen this summer, or in another team. But another year like this is going to be very hard for me" added Claver."

Ball Don't Lie: Joakim Noah Says His Bulls Wouldn't Tank Games For A Preferred Playoff Seed Because Chicago Is 'Not Soft'

“Chicago is allowed to do this because it has acquired a series of professionals that don’t mind the, hell, let’s call it “abuse.” Players like Noah that give their all, working in spite of a ceiling that was knocked down from championship-level the second Derrick Rose clutched his right leg last November. This is the sort of team that stares down the Miami Heat with Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed, so the idea of potentially sitting out games down the stretch in order to potentially meet the Nets and Indiana Pacers in a playoff bracket feels like an art crime, of sorts."

Ball Don't Lie: Investor Chris Hansen Preaches Patience For Seattle Basketball Fans, Promises A Team

“I doubt that dormant Sonics fans want to hear that their dreams of getting a team are far off, but there is a silver lining in Hansen's comments. While he reiterated his commitment to bringing a team back to Seattle in the immediate aftermath of the Kings deal, Hansen's mind could have changed over the last 11 months. Now, there's proof that the failure of his first attempt won't dissuade him from making the same kind of effort in the future. Seattle and the NBA both know that they have a long-term partner.’’

CNNSI Can The Blazers Claw Their Way Back Into Contention

“Since Portland started this modest streak, which feels like an extended surge in light of their two-month malaise, Aldridge has declined to cut his nails. They have grown long enough that he broke one against the Grizzlies, another against the Lakers. But he won't get a manicure until the Blazers lose. As he left the locker room at Staples Center on Tuesday, he glanced down at his talons and laughed, a convenient symbol for a team trying to claw its way back."

ESPN: NBA Innovating Injury Prevention

"In the NBA, 10 teams have bought in, including the Mavericks, Spurs, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Two other teams with Catapult relationships have elected to remain unidentified. (In an interview with Jared Dubin on TrueHoop, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said he's used Catapult to inform his team's decision-making). Catapult's two main goals are to minimize injury and maximize performance. Often, the message teams are finding is that their players need to work smarter, not harder. That means resting players, cutting practice time and making workouts more timely and efficient. It's not a coincidence that the Spurs have long rested their stars at seemingly every turn and continue to win heaps of games."

ESPN: Is It Time To Worry About The Pacers?

“9. Since Feb. 20, the Pacers have gone 11-10, with only two of those wins coming against playoff-hopeful opponents (Chicago on March 21, Miami on March 26). Every other team they've played with playoff hopes has resulted in a loss. The significance of Feb. 20? That's the day they acquired Evan Turner.”

SLAM: Post-Up: Unstoppable Spurs

“As good as they are on offense, the Spurs did a pretty good job of flustering the Warriors at the other end. They harried Stephen Curry (11 points, 10 assists) into 5-15 shooting. Marreese Speights came off the bench for the Warriors, very thin up front these days, and scored a game-high 22 points. Already missing David Lee and Andrew Bogut, the Dubs got just four minutes from Jermaine O’Neal. Andre Iguodala also sat this game with a sore knee."