mikebarrett

Feb 13

Aldridge's Remarkable Roll Continues

By mikebarrett Posted in: Blazers, LaMarcusAldridge, Pistons
This is some kind of a ride for LaMarcus Aldridge.  If he’s not named Western Conference Player of the Week, there should be an investigation.  Or, just extend the investigation, that’s already underway, into how this guy isn’t an all-star (not to get that started again).

Not a bad week for LaMarcus.  He had 42 against Chicago, 37 at Toronto, and 36 against the Detroit Pistons.  Most importantly (and I stress that), the Trail Blazers won all three, and Aldridge was incredibly clutch in all three.  Teams continue to game plan for ways to slow him down, and no one has had much success at that lately.

You have to start busting out the record books to appreciate what this has been like for Aldridge.  On Sunday he became the first player in franchise history to score 36 or more in three straight games.  In those three, he’s shot 63 percent from the field (41-65), and 84 percent (33-39) from the free-throw line.

Players have had weeks like this, of course.  But, I can’t remember a time when a guy has had numbers this impressive, his points have been so vital, and have come in such pressure-packed situations.

Sunday night, he had the biggest bucket of the game, with :33 seconds left, that gave Portland a 99-96 lead.  Clutch basket after clutch basket, helping Portland to its 30th win of the season.  They held on to beat the Pistons 105-100.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

The Trail Blazers now sit 30-24 on the season.  Through 54 games last season, and I talked about this late in our TV broadcast, the Trail Blazers were 30-24.  And, last season the team had played four fewer road games than this Portland team.  Factor in all of the freak injuries, illnesses, and mixed up lineups on a nightly basis, and this really gets impressive. 

What's also been impressive lately is Portland's offense.  There were times early in the season I didn't think we'd be saying that.  The Blazers, after all, have been near the bottom of the league in field-goal percentage and points per game.  But, we've seen a dramatic turnaround lately.  The Blazers have scored over 100 points in four-straight games, and have shot over 50 percent in all four.  They are 9-1 when they shoot 50 percent or better, and are now 19-5 when scoring 100 or more.

We’re in Minneapolis now, and Monday night the Trail Blazers will take on the Timberwolves at the Target Center.  Portland will be looking to make it 16-straight wins over Minnesota.  The Wolves have been playing better as of late, and desperately want to end this ugly streak. 

One matchup in this game will be getting a lot of attention (yes, we'll probably be guilty of focusing on it as well)-  L.A. vs. Kevin Love, for obvious reasons.  Aldridge has had more impressive numbers in the head-to-head matchups, and his team has won all three games.  And, as you know, Love was named to the all-star team over Aldridge by David Stern.  LaMarcus has continued to say that it didn't bother him as much as it bothered everyone else, but clearly it's been a motivating factor for him since it happened.  He's been brilliant, and will likely be out to prove something on Monday night.

Mostly though, Aldridge will be out to help his team complete its best road trip of the season.  The Trail Blazers have pulled even with Denver and Utah in the loss column, and sit just two games behind New Orleans and the fifth playoff spot in the west. 

 

Previous Story: Aldridge Does it Again

35 Comments

  1. Wow that was fast. We wouldn't be struggling so much if we could get some rebounds. We need Marcus. What wa with Andre and 9 turnovers. LMA makes it all moot by being so dominating.

    by Ancientone on 2/13/2011 7:10 PM
  2. Really nice blog Mike..

    by Lkiki503 on 2/13/2011 7:15 PM
  3. Andre must have wanted a triple-double today. Glad he didn't quite make it.

    by dgpdx on 2/13/2011 7:29 PM
  4. Melo had a good week although his team did not do as well

    by Roland on 2/13/2011 7:50 PM
  5. LaMarcus was LaMazing. i'm beginning to think of the irony at the end of february if he's named western conference player of the month during the month he was snubbed for the all-star team. yes, i know that may be getting ahead of things, but he definitely should be named player of the week. he's averaged 38.3 points per game in three games this week and his team won all those games. another stat of note is the fact that in those games he's averaged 26.0 points in the second half.in any other league, that would be an automatic.

    Lamarcus was exceptional, and i thought Wesley played a very nice game and was very effective on both ends of the floor. Andre was finding the open man and ended with 11 assists. while the game got tight in the fourth, we fended off the pistons and got the job done. that's what good teams do and we are a good team.

    i'm looking forward to seeing Aldridge-Love IV. LaMarcus doesn't show it, but i think he'll be motivated to show who really should be in the asg, to sweep the t-wolves and come back from this road trip 3-0. i think that will happen.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/13/2011 8:12 PM
  6. LA may not say so, but he sure has been playing with an enormous chip on his shoulder since his all star snub; sure can't wait to see how he does when Brandon and Marcus return, likely after the break.

    by blazerdarren77 on 2/13/2011 8:16 PM
  7. Great to hear from you Mike:

    As usual, I took time off of work to watch the game: then I had to rush out and finish the day, so your updates and quick post are important to me.

    I agree with Miss Kassandra that we will win all three games in this road trip.
    I think LMA will go after some Love at Minny. Of course I am hoping it is hard Love.

    The team has a purpose to keep focused with Memphis breathing down our neck and Denver and Utah falling off. This is getting to be the worry part of the year, and also the exciting part of the year.

    I feel with Camby and BRoy coming back soon, we will have enough players and bench to make it to the Play-offs. We have some rough games ahead according to EA. but with a bigger crew and LMA hitting on all cylinders things could get great fast. The team is starting to grow on me again, because I really had very little doubt about the outcome of the game.

    Thanks again for the Blog Mike.

    I must be

    by Hg on 2/13/2011 8:56 PM
  8. correction: Andre had 12 assists along with 15 points. and Patty led the bench with nine.

    some notes: the blazers own the longest current winning streak (four games) in the league. Joel led the team with three blocks and a +12 efficiency rating. Patty led bench scoring with nine points.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/13/2011 9:02 PM
  9. Man another month of this kind of play and people will change their chants from All-Star to Super-Star. This week was a top 5 talent week and i think he can sustain a lot of what he keeps bringing to games. hey does anyone else like it that LA just looks happy when he hits clutch shots? All the other stars just look kinda angry and pretend like that shot was nothing (intimidating yes), but LA is beaming when he hits those which only makes the shot better IMO. P.S. your commitment to detail is admirable Kassandra, to have the presence of mind to come back and correct a blog post so quickly.

    by Lapinnoir on 2/13/2011 9:11 PM
  10. Kassandra:

    Do you know on your post, if you go to the bottom of your post and click on edit you can make corrections in your original post. I love that especially with by leaving words out and spelling badly.

    by Hg on 2/13/2011 9:20 PM
  11. by Kassandra on 2/13/2011 9:44 PM
  12. TayC! Where you at brudda? It's a bit early in the season for playoff eyeballin' but somethin's happenin'. Right now. Can't protect two months from now without protectin' right now and the Blazers are doin' it.

    LMA though...four boards? Homie don't play dat...good win guys. FTs kept the Pistons in the game in the third and sealed the deal for Blazers. Can't feel bad about it. Not one bit.

    by shynz0r on 2/13/2011 9:51 PM
  13. This was a pretty nice win. I was reasonably confident throughout, but found myself yelling at the screen a bit after a couple of Andre's bad fourth-quarter turnovers. Yelled a bit earlier in frustration when Beloved Barrett came out with his "while the Blazers stand around" refrain a time too often. I'm frustrated too with the team giving up so many offensive boards, but it seems like MBs impatience always peaks at the moment of a freak bounce when our guys really are moving toward the ball, but just lack sufficient ESP to track the crazy trajectory. We lack the bodies, sometimes we lack the concentration, and yes, sometimes the other team is outworking us, but intermingled in there are the ones that add insult to injury, the unlucky bounces that just catch everyone going the wrong way. On a happier note, Lappinoir's comment on LA's smile after making a big shot reminded me of the huge grin LaMarcus had after he drew that charge late in the game the other night. To smile after making a shot is one thing; but to come up grinning after getting run down and knocked on your rear is something else, another little clue about why this team keeps winning and keeps being fun to watch.

    by Islander on 2/13/2011 10:18 PM
  14. MIke

    PLEASE... dont talk about the nationally televised games!!!!!!

    Often times... other games are covered by ABC, TNT, or ESPN... during the blazers games... or shortly beforehand. Being the crazy blazer fan I am, i DEFINITALY watch the Blazer game first.. and DVR the others..

    All too often, and it's usually "Coach"... you guys decide to reveal the games outcome, i SCREEEEAAAAAMMMMM at the tv.. especially when it's good match-ups like LA and Orlando(the one you revealed.....) or Heat and Boston..

    PLEASE... PRETTY PLEASE.. if you must.. talk about the nbatv games.. but NOT the nationally televised ones us broke folks get to watch.

    How about that Player of the Week?!
    GO BLAZERS!!

    by Blazermaniak on 2/13/2011 11:48 PM
  15. Excellent road win!

    I have to agree with shynz0r about LA's rebounds or lack of. 4? When he's playing center part of the game? Heck a SF and SG had more rebounds. That is what takes away nationally from his game when people look at PFs numbers. I think if he got more national attention and people seen how he carries the team and how clutch his shots are it'd be different.

    Oh, Kass, funny on the edit. :)

    by mgb on 2/13/2011 11:52 PM
  16. After returning as a blazer fan, post jailblazer era, I have been amazed by the overachieving and optimistic attitude that flows from this motley crew. There is something special about Nate and the people he surrounds himself with. I know from my own experiences on the court, it is not trivial to excel when so much of your core is down. The margin for error is razor thin...for this team to actually believe and execute is even thinner. Somehow, these guys have found a way to inspire me to set my DVR for each game. I must be a putz tho since no one gives them a chance to run for the title. To this I would say, I do love an underdog.... and an underdog that kicks butt on a regular basis at that!

    by bates8963 on 2/14/2011 12:37 AM
  17. Right there with ya mgb. Of course the Blazers are shooting well lately but every time a board came down over the waves through Wheels and it wasn't in LA's hands I cringed. He's gettin' wingspan rebounds lately. Start boxin out big brotha and followin' every shot on the floor! Ahh hell, I'll love ya either way. I'm just a defensive end snob so don't take it personal like, oy?

    Lol EDIT button is the only thing that's prevented World War III so far. I hope whomever came up with it is drunk and floatin' somewhere happy on a yacht.

    by shynz0r on 2/14/2011 12:41 AM

  18. "The difference in this game was Aldridge, Aldridge and Aldridge," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "When they needed something else, they ran a play for LaMarcus Aldridge." via: (AP) SI.com

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 2/14/2011 12:50 AM
  19. LA is just playin amazing...I mean were witnessing some well played basketball by our power forward. Hoping to see a 3-0 road trip. That should give us a nice boost, I could say more but its late and theres not much else to say, we won.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/14/2011 2:49 AM
  20. So, best powerforward in the league? I expect "MVP" chants when he's at the line. He deserves to be there, especially if freaking Blake Griffin was on there. Let's boycott the All-Star game, or pray that Anthony gets traded ASAP. LaMarcus should be a lock. Thanks David Stern. Hope you watch the game tomorrow!

    by Herr on 2/14/2011 4:24 AM
  21. Gotta love them Blazers! LaMarcus is playing out of his head. And how about Matthews. That guy is a rock. Miller had 9 turnovers but that's gonna happen sometimes. Gotta take the good with the bad. He's more good for sure.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/14/2011 6:50 AM
  22. LMA was guarded by the rebounding champion, Ben Wallace and only gets 36 pts and 4 rebounds and MGB and shynzOr slaps him for only 4 rebounds when we are playing in Detroit where Ben can throw LMA out of the way without getting a foul. I am with thedanman welcome to the NBA where the good and the bad happens and LMA is more good then bad for sure, along with Batum, Rudy, Dre and Dante.

    Do you supposed that LMA may have been down playing this game because he wants to save his energy for some love on valintines day.

    This is not a malicious post, but agreed as stated by EA I am somewhat defensive of all our Blazer players. I do agree that the lack of rebounding was almost crucial to us, but we won with some excellent defense and shooting by LMA, and Wesley. That is what counts.

    I hope LMA proves me right in Minny tonight.

    by Hg on 2/14/2011 8:22 AM
  23. Hg,

    Defending is one thing, but no player is beyond criticism. If you read what I said I said that nationally it's going to look like he's a one trick pony. Only if it was a national game would nationally people know how clutch he was and important to the win.

    by mgb on 2/14/2011 8:40 AM
  24. I am not above giving criticism to players, I was just giving Ben Wallace some props.

    Actually I don't care what the national media says, Griffin could come out with no game what so ever and they would not cut him for having a bad game. I am not knocking you, I am knocking the national media. I have long ago quit caring what they have to say. That also includes local media.

    by Hg on 2/14/2011 9:07 AM

  25. i'm quoting canzano. i can't believe it...

    "The 'consulting surgeon' whispers that he believes the best-case strategy for handling Roy is this: A) Limit Roy's practice reps to almost nothing; B) Play him off the bench in 65-75 or so games a season, choosing rest in key spots; C) pray.
    Surgeon suspects the Blazers might get 1-2 years out of Roy employing this strategy. Right now, I think they'd take that, and hope for the best. Roy is a fierce competitor and I won't count him out.
    Roy says he's thinking of making a Feb. 16 return. I don't know if you'll find a soul pulling against the guy."

    i think they should target something more like 50 games a year off the bench, with the priority being good health in the post-season. if you have a 2 guard/sf rotation with wesley, rudy, brandon, nic & splashes of dante, there is more than enough to cover the absences. i was for this type of strategy for quite some time. the addition of wesley matthews makes this all viable. what i don't understand is why it is so taboo or vilified to have a reduced load for guys who have known knee problems. keeping a group of guys working together means the kobe's of the world have to fight off 4 or 5 world class competitors by themselves. it is the wealth of riches that you'd expect from PA.

    by reverse on 2/14/2011 10:11 AM
  26. Lamarcus is not a big rebounder, he's just not and no one should ever expect him to be. There is such a thing as expecting too much. I understand leveling some critique at a player, like Wesley's inconsistency or Nico's hesitancy/inconsistent focus, even when they have had a good game, but I don't get finding the one weakness in a player's game who just made Trailblazer history and won POW for the second straight time. Here's some perspective:

    LA's Rebound Rate is 13.9, tied for 37th among all PFs in the league with Paul Milsap. Marcus Camby is #2 with 23.7 (he's #2 in all positions as well). Marcus has almost DOUBLE the rate as LA. Guys like Love, Griffin, and ZBo are in the top 10, BUT....they are the #1 rebounders on their respective teams.

    He ties for 25th place among all PFs for ORR with 10.5 (out of 77) and is 49th in DRR with 17.5 (Camby is #1 in this stat at a whopping 35.3!!!) - these are the Hollinger stats btw.

    Honestly, with Camby on the team, even when he is not playing, evaluating LA's rebounding seems unfair. Personally, I think stuff like the Usage stat provides a more accurate reflection of what a player is actually doing for their team, along with PER. Lamarcus ranks 7th among all PFs at 24.3 USG and is 6th among all PFs at 21.79 PER. And if you use the NBA's PT/RB/AST stat, he's 15th among ALL players at 33.1, as well as the 15th leading scorer among ALL players at 22.1. He's also currently at 23.2 EFF, which ranks 14th among ALL players and 6th among SF-PFs (4th among PFs). He's fourth on the Dunk list, with 101 and has the 7th most double-doubles in the league (those would be all in the scoring-rebounding department). Finally, in the 6 games before this one, he had 10+ rebounds in 4 of them, with the other two being 9 and 8. Sure, he could probably rebound a little more from time to time, but pointing that out is truly looking for the speck of dirt on your shiny new penny! Just sayin'....


    by SisillaRiann on 2/14/2011 12:35 PM
  27. it's official -- LaMarcus Aldridge has been named western conference player of the week for feb. 7-13 (Dwight Howard was named for the eastern conference). there really was no doubt, but a little bit ago the league made it official:

    http://www.nba.com/2011/news/02/14/players-of-week-lamarcus-aldridge-dwight-howard/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2

    very, very well-deserved.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/14/2011 1:11 PM
  28. I've started an LMA MVP blog for those interested!!

    http://blogs.trailblazers.com/PublicProfileRoot/MyBlog/tabid/99/EntryID/1684/IamaUserID/25607/Default.aspx

    PLZ JOIN!!

    Gratz LA!!

    Go Blazers!!!

    by Blazermaniak on 2/14/2011 1:38 PM
  29. Kassandra:

    I listened to the Up and Adam show again this morning and even Scott Zachary had some good things to say about you. You are becoming so popular that you will have to be a guest on the Up and Adams show.

    Anyway, that only proves me right about you, if it wasn't for your lawyer's love you would be a great BB analysis. I know that is not your cup of tea.

    by Hg on 2/14/2011 3:06 PM
  30. EA,

    The same argument you are making could have been made last year of LA saying he's just not a inside player, but is valuable as a outside thread. Look at him now.

    While I would agree with you if Camby was playing and getting the rebounds I don't with Camby being out that you shouldn't judge LA by rebounds especially when he's playing center a lot.

    The one excuse I've heard and one I thought of before is that LA is running out for a fast break, kind of like guards do, once the ball is shot and the same could be to get back on D.

    Anyway, I'm quite happy for LA to get POW so he'll get the recognition he deserves. You wouldn't know it, but I've always defended LA in the past when he's been called soft because I never felt he was.

    by mgb on 2/14/2011 5:08 PM
  31. MGB: Regardless, I think it's nit-picky. Simple as that. The argument was about LA being one-dimensional in season's past. I don't think that's the argument now. Now, it's likely coming down to a perception that LA doesn't rebound enough, and that's why he's not getting the recognition he deserves. I dispute that and can come up with solid, popular, respectable players at the PF who don't rebound in a superior way but have stellar games anyway, and coincidentally, are All-Stars. I am not saying that LA can't rebound well, just that I don't think it's his focus or his top concern. Maybe as time goes on, he will find that, but it's just not there now.

    Basically, my concern here is that we are a very short two months into LA being a dominant inside first-option player and fans are already complaining he's not doing enough! I think that is straight ridiculous.

    One of the very few things bringing me honest joy at the moment is watching LA do what he is doing. It's gorgeous basketball, super-star basketball, and I just can't believe anyone is leveling any sort of criticism at him right now :)

    by SisillaRiann on 2/14/2011 9:05 PM
  32. Was tonight the coming out party for Dante? Even with all he did, he was still playing well within himself. I think his confidence has reached the point where he feels he belongs on the court on his own merit, not just due to injuries to those ahead of him on the depth chart.

    Nate is going to have serious rotation decisions to make when Marcus and BRoy come back -- whose minutes will get cut and by how much?

    by dgpdx on 2/14/2011 9:16 PM

  33. scoreboard watcher here...

    standings now have the blazers as 6th in the west, 1/2 game ahead of denver and a 2-1 head-to-head tiebreaker up on the jazz (who currently have the same record).

    i know that i often have the rose city colored glasses on, but who in the west would want to play portland in the playoffs when you add a touch of roy and camby?

    maybe it's the 5 game win streak talking, or maybe the fact that 3 'wolves starters didn't convert a field goal against the blazers tonight, but i think things are coming together nicely.

    speaking of which, how about coach nate being given an extension? he put dante in position to outplay k. love in less than 2/3 the minutes. he keeps the guys motivated, ready to play & on the same pace from last season's 50 win team. continuity is worth a lot.

    lastly, i think darko might have some hurt feelings after being dunked on by nic. on the batum-shaka-laka meter, that was a 10 across the board (except the yugoslavian judge who scored it a 5.2).

    by reverse on 2/14/2011 11:47 PM
  34. Another win in Minny. Loved it when Love got hit in the face by LaMarcus' slap of the ball. Cracked me up. We're now 6th seed. Let's go for 4th!

    by Herr on 2/15/2011 4:55 AM
  35. Ya, Herr, that was great! :)

    http://www.nba.com/blazers/tbtv/video.html?videoID=1060

    by mgb on 2/15/2011 5:21 AM
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