Tag Archive: Joel Freeland


All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and highly versatile wing Nicolas Batum have been joined by budding star Damian Lillard in a new core that is taking Portland places (Image | Getty)

All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and highly versatile wing Nicolas Batum have been joined by budding star Damian Lillard in a new core that is taking Portland places (Image | Getty)

On November 13th 2013, the Portland Trail Blazers entertained the Phoenix Suns at the recently renamed Moda Center (rest in peace, Rose Garden) in a matchup of two teams widely expected to tank this season, with eight or 10 other teams, in search of landing top spot in the best NBA Draft in a decade.

Except the Suns, who had beaten Portland on NBA opening night in the desert, were 4-2 by then and had only lost in road games against Oklahoma City and San Antonio, both times by seven points or fewer.Portland, meanwhile, were 5-2 and were on their way to building an early-season 11-game winning streak which propelled them to the summit of the Western Conference.

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Team GB signed off their first Olympic basketball campaign since 1948 with a moment of history (Image | Getty)

The Olympic basketball quarter-finals are underway today. Russia and Lithuania are first in action, to be followed later today by Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Team USA.

Great Britain are no longer involved in the tournament, but in their final game Tuesday, already confirmed as a ‘dead rubber’ match thanks to Saturday’s depressing collapse against Australia, Team GB carved themselves a little slice of basketballing history – they secured the nation’s first ever win in Olympic basketball.

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With 26 points, Luol Deng once again spearheaded Team GB’s offense (Image | Getty)

I knew as soon as the GB-Spain game ended last night that I’d be writing about it as soon as I got back from work this morning. The thing is, now I’m here, I’m not sure how to feel about the game.

Obviously, there’s a massive amount of pride for a collection of players brought together from around the major and minor leagues of European basketball to back up an NBA superstar who, after a couple of years of being international afterthoughts and needing special dispensation just to take up a hosts’ place at the Olympics, scared the crap out of Spain last night. The absolute crap.

And yet, knowing now that the game was so close in the final seconds, there’s a good deal of frustration too.

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