LaMarcus Aldridge - Savior of the Trail Blazers
What joy it is to be a Blazer fan during this time. Normally, when a team is suffering injury to their best player, missing two of their starting centers, missing their backup center while having their other backup center still trying to get his game back, they fall short and crumble. After all, even the best teams in the league (Boston and San Antonio) had/have problems when they're suffering an injury to just one of their top players.
Even though the Blazers may be "use" to playing without a handful of their best players, they are still playing their game, and most importantly, winning games.
Every season these injuries happen, there is someone that always seems to step up. Last season it was Andre Miller. In 2007, it was Brandon Roy. Now, in 2010-2011, it's LaMarcus Aldridge.
After the Trail Blazer era, and the Blazers got the number 1 pick in Greg Oden in 2007, there were high hopes for the Blazers, but quickly shot down when Oden was to miss his entire rookie season. However, Brandon Roy stepped up big and took the keys of the team and drove right to the top. Nicknamed the Natural, he was the reviver of the Blazers.
At the start of the 2010-2011 season, expectations were given to the Blazers. The major goal - to get passed the first round. To do this, they must beat a 45-50 win team in a 7 game series at the very least, but more likely around 50-55 depending on the rest of the season, and most likely not having home court advantage. Those expectations were quickly shot down, along with everything as people looked to rebuild.
Fans, even NBA analysis said the Oden, Roy, and Aldridge "Big 3" were done. They said it was time to move on. The Blazers needed to rebuild. There were trade reports of getting rid of Camby and Miller, while building around Mathews and trading Batum for a potential leader.
All of that was erased and soon forgotten as LaMarcus Aldridge improved his play and started becoming a dominate player in this league and potential All-Star.
Had LaMarcus Aldridge not have stepped up and played as well as he has been playing, I can guarantee that the rebuilding mode would have come back to the Blazers. Camby and Miller would not be Blazers today, or would be on the chopping block, ready to be traded. This whole Blazer team would likely not be this Blazer team, which has been winning games, and stands comfortably 4 games above the .500 mark.
For that, I name LaMarcus Aldridge as the savior of this Blazer team. The savior as of our Championship hopes. The savior that gives lots of faith to us Blazer fans.