Around The World: March 20, 2014

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Trail Blazers: Lillard And Wall Draw A Crowd At Compound Gallery For "Florist City" Release

“I mean, look at it. It’s obvious it’s a really nice shoe. I’m a huge fan of what it represents: The Rose City and the fact that I’m in Portland. Great colorway. Once again, a great idea by adidas. I’m thankful for them being able to have another edition of a shoe for me.”

Trail Blazers: Cliff Robinson Voted Off Of Survivor

“I know that, in this game, people get voted off for any reason,” said Robinson. “Any reason you could think of, people have been voted off this game. But most professional or former athletes who have had the opportunity to play this game are targeted for that simple fact, that they have played professional sports in some capacity. I knew that was going to be something that eventually was going to come up amongst some of the people playing the game.”

Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Vs. Wizards Preview

“Portland is 6-2 overall this season without Aldridge, but it's hardly played well in its last two as the All-Star big man continues to nurse a back contusion.”

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers Host The Washington Wizards: About The Opponent

“In nine games with the Wizards, the 12-year veteran is averaging 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 16.1 minutes. His surprising production has helped the Wizards stay afloat as fellow big men Nene (left knee sprain) and Seraphin (right knee swelling) have battled injuries.”

Oregon Live: Blazers Center Robin Lopez 'Read Big' Event At Kelly School

"An avid reader with a love for comic books, Lopez will demonstrate that productive reading can come in a variety of forms. Like Lopez, Principal Marti Diaz, who has made a concerted effort to improve reading at Kelly School, is a fan of comic book superheroes."

Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews Picks Oregon Ducks To Upset Wisconsin In NCAA Tournament

“Of course, both the Ducks and Badgers have games to win before potentially meeting on Saturday in Milwaukee: seventh-seeded Oregon takes on 10th-seeded BYU on Thursday, and No. 2 seed Wisconsin plays No. 15 seed American University.’

Oregon Live: There's A Reason For Terry Stotts' Caution: He's Witnessed A Late Season Collapse Before

“That’s why I take it one game at a time, and I don’t look too far down the road,’’ Stotts said. “You just don’t know. That’s why coaches in this league try not to get ahead of themselves. You want to be optimistic, you want to look down the road and expect good things are going to happen, but you know that in order for that to happen, you have to take care of business that day.’’

CSNNW: Clutch Or Coin Flip? What Are The Blazers?

"It does seem that labeling a team or player as “clutch” becomes difficult as the sample size grows. This season, the Blazers won 5 of their first 6 games decided by 3 points or less. It began to elicit a lot of “clutch” talk. Since then, they’ve lost 7 of 8 in those scenarios. Did they suddenly lose their “mojo” or is it a coin flip scenario that is merely balancing itself out?"

Columbian: Mo Williams, Others Step Up To Aid Lillard

"It's huge when Wes and Nico, Mo, D-Wright come in and make plays and make shots. With LA out, teams are giving me a bit more attention," Lillard said. "It takes a lot of pressure off me, teams having to look at other guys and respect what they are doing."

Ball Don't Lie: Trail Blazers' #FirstTweet Is A Major Bummer

"There are some, however, that stand out as interesting or noteworthy in one respect or another, led by the Portland Trail Blazers' delivery of what might be the biggest non-bracket-busting bummer you experience all day."

Ball Don't Lie: Commissioner Adam Silver: Ads On NBA jerseys 'Inevitable,' 'Most Likely' In Next 5 Years

“As my colleagues Kelly Dwyer and Eric Freeman have written before, news of the "inevitable" plastering of corporate logos all over players' jerseys will set traditionalists' stomachs to churning. (A small chest/shoulder patch might not seem like "plastering all over," but it just represents an opening gambit, because that's how these things work.) Every time this issue comes up, I find myself trying to imagine whether my eye would've been diverted by, say, a Kraft logo on Jordan's shorts as he shot over Ehlo, or a Staples-promoting rectangle on Magic's lower back as he threw up his junior sky hook at the Garden, or by a Carnival Cruise Lines ad on Ray Allen's shoulder as he rose up from the right corner in Game 6. It might not, because like the rest of you, I'd surely be more focused on the action itself than on its marketing implications — we can't all be Darren Rovell, after all — but it might, and that stinks."

CNNSI: Should The Heat Bow Out Of Their Race With The Pacers For The East’s No. 1 seed?

“The flexibility of Miami’s position is reinforced by the schedules both teams face over the next two weeks. By April 2, Miami will have visited Indiana and enjoyed four games against lottery-bound teams, while Indiana will have endured six out of seven games against playoff teams during that same stretch. Although the head-to-head game is obviously the one to circle on the calendar, the Heat have the potential to be in the driver’s seat by early April if Indiana continues the up-and-down play that has produced a 4-5 record since March 4. The time for the Heat’s push is right now, when the disparity between the two teams’ schedules is at its greatest.”

CNNSI: What's Powering The Knicks' Recent Run?

“They’ve been aided by a shift to a new default lineup option: a bigger set featuring Anthony, Felton, Smith, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire that aims to max out New York’s offensive strengths. Before the Knicks’ latest streak, that group had shared the floor for all of 48 minutes, albeit to decent effect. Over the past seven games — only five of which have seen the full starting five active — that same group has logged 78 minutes together and waxed opponents with their scoring. That group has spaced the floor well for Stoudemire and Anthony, who have popped opponents for a combined 46 points per game through a smart balance of quick-hitters, open jumpers and measured isolations. There aren’t just shades of a dangerous offensive team here but overtones; if Stoudemire were this functional earlier in the season, maybe these Knicks could have been something."

ESPN: NBA Version Of March Madness

"If healthy, the Portland Trail Blazers would have the best chance of taking advantage of the weak No. 2 seed. But the Blazers wouldn't be a sure thing to even get past the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. Overall, this is the weakest of the four regions and also the most wide-open for a miracle run by a team like the Washington Wizards."

SLAM: Post-Up: Knicks Streak Hits 7

“Indiana hit just 42.5 percent from the field against a usually awful Knicks defense, with their struggles highlighted when you look at Paul George’s line. After starting the season as an MVP candidate, George has tailed off big time. He scored 17 points against the Knicks, shooting 4-17, turning the ball over 4 times and racking up 5 fouls. Lance Stephenson had 21 points and 9 boards for Indy, while Roy Hibbert put up 20 points on 8-10 shooting. Unfortunately, no one else seemed willing to hit a shot for the Pacers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.”

DIME: John Wall Wishes Wizards Could Go Back To Bullets

“The name change also ended up as even more of a blessing in disguise because a decade later Gilbert Arenas set off a firestorm after bringing pistols in the Wizards locker-room during an argument with teammate Javaris Crittenton. If the name had still been Bullets at the time of the incident, that would have likely facilitated a change anyway.”