Talking Points: Blazers' backcourt struggling

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

The Blazers are 12-8 and tied for the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, indicating that a lot of things have gone right this season.

But not much of that success can be attributed to the backcourt. Portland’s three primary guards — Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews, and Jamal Crawford — have combined to shoot .382 from the field and .308 from 3-point range.

Talking Points thinks the trio is better than that, which bodes well for the remainder of the season. But given the recent history, Blazer fans undoubtedly will find a way to blame Nate McMillan’s offensive system for the guards’ struggles.

2

With the well-documented woes of Pac-12 men’s basketball teams, there’s a very real possibility the conference will end up with only one school in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

But that shouldn’t take away from what is shaping up as a thrilling conference race. Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado entered Saturday’s play in a four-way tie for first place, and landing the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament could be especially crucial this year.

3

How often have you heard a sports promoter or coach say how good their young protégé will eventually become?

All the time, right? That’s part of their job afterall.

Flash back to 2005 in Redding, Calif., where a 15-year-old tennis player was taking part in a USTA Challenger tournament -- the minor leagues of tennis.

Her coach at the time said something like: “Watch out. She’s going to be really good.”

Victoria Azarenka proved that statement correct on Saturday by winning the Australian Open and gaining the No. 1 ranking in the world.

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