Number 11... Mr. L-Train Aldridge
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  1. commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 08/15/2011 12:40 PM

    This ranking may seem high until you start looking at the big men below him and realize that Aldridge really is the finest two-way player among them — and that he’s bound to get even better given his age.

    Last season, Aldridge took on a larger burden on offense and managed to increase his efficiency — a rare double, especially when you consider just how much more efficient he became. He redistributed his shot attempts, averaging 10 shots per game from within 10 feet, up from just 6.5 such shots the previous season, according to Hoopdata. He earned more foul shots and drew more double teams as a result. He morphed from a jump-shooting, outside-in big man into an inside-out post-up force, capable of scoring one-on-one and serving as the kind of player around which a team can build an above-average offense. You can’t say that about Garnett anymore, which is why KG ranks a few spots lower here, despite playing a brand of defense Aldridge can’t yet match.

    But Aldridge is getting there defensively. He’s solid in the post and in one-on-one situations, and he has emerged as one of the league’s better big men at tracking guards on pick-and-roll plays. He’s not on the level of Garnett, Tyson Chandler or Andrew Bogut yet — he doesn’t protect the rim or rebound as well as those guys — but he has become a well-rounded defender, on the level of a guy like Al Horford.

    It’s the combination of that kind of defense and the scoring game Aldridge showed last season that has him above some bigger names. He’s not as polished offensively as Stoudemire, but he’s in a different league defensively. He can’t match Kevin Love’s shooting and rebounding, but Aldridge’s defense and post game place him above Love — for now. The gap in defense between Aldridge and Griffin is big enough now for Aldridge to hold this spot, though Griffin figures to come charging hard for a place in the top 10 as soon as the NBA resumes.

    Randolph was the closest call, because everything we know about defense says the version Z-Bo we’ve seen in Memphis is more of an asset than liability on that end. Aldridge can’t match Randolph yet as a scorer or rebounder, but he’s closing the gap. In a brutal toss-up, I went with Aldridge’s youth and potential as an elite defender.

    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. mbmurr1
    Posts: 530

    Posted 08/15/2011 4:20 PM

    The L-Train is #12 but other then that I agree with you 100%. But I feel his career might be better served if we went after someone like Kevin Love to play Power Forward and move Aldridge to Center beside him, then play with 2 power forwards switching on the opposing c/pf combo. The Timberwolves would take Batum and Camby in trade.
    I am a fan of
  1. commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 08/15/2011 10:27 PM

    Yes, i know. But he's ranked number 11 of 30 PF's.
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
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