Commentary

Hollinger's Gems: April 9, 2009

Blazers get big win, Oden looking more comfortable and Boozer still not himself

Updated: April 9, 2009, 1:59 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

1. If yesterday was the last-second 3-point version of Insider Gems, today is the Portland version. I'm in Bridgetown the next few days for the Nike Hoop Summit, which brings together some of the best international and domestic players under the age of 20 and has them meet in a game on Saturday; until then, the international players' practices are open to coaches, scouts and media, and I've been getting a look at some of the top young international talent.

Historically, one thing that has made it tough to evaluate the internationals in this event has been the lack of quality guard talent from overseas, and that was evident in the practice I went to yesterday as well … with one exception. French guard Edwin Jackson, the son of former Oklahoma State guard Skeeter Jackson, was among the best players out there, and if he can hold his own against the American guards on Saturday he could really improve his draft stock going forward.

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