Kassandra

Feb 09

 
We in the BlazerNation have known for quite some time that LaMarcus Aldridge is an all-star and now, The NBA's Western Conference coaches have proven us correct.

As was just announced on TNT, LaMarcus has been voted as one of seven reserves to the West squad.

Last week had been reported that Coach MacMillan had spoken to all Western Conference coaches, and had a pretty good feeling about LaMarcus' chances. Then, LaMarcus stormed out with an incredible week; including 29 points against Denver, 39 against Oklahoma City.

Officially now, the Texas native we've been watching emerge into the prototypical NBA power forward. No coaches' snub this season. Number 12 becomes the 15th Blazer to be named to the all-star team.

LaMarcus will be joined by Jay Jensen of the Blazers, who was selected as the trainer for the West team.



Obviously, last year's coaches vote for the reserves, and the league naming Kevin Love over LaMarcus as an injury replacement stung. Fans were in an uproar. We all know the reasons why LaMarcus should have been named to the team last year. He had taken over the team. His numbers, though not as high as Love's, had taken leaps over seasons past. He definitely deserved the all-star nod.

In fact, LeBron James described it as the "biggest snub in all-star history."

LaMarcus, who downplayed his exclusion from the game last year, told J.A. Andade of ESPN.com (in an article released today) that the snub helped make him hungrier:

"After the All-Star Game [snub], I was on a mission to, like, kill everybody.  "Being in that mindset of trying to kill everybody kind of put me in a good rhythm and showed me how I should be every night. I've taken that same mentality -- I have to prove something every night -- and I've carried it over to this year. It's going well for me. Being that mad was good for me. It showed me how you have to think every night."


In my own humble opinion, I believe LaMarcus was slighted the previous year, when the commissioner snubbed LaMarcus in favor of then-Clippers center Chris Kaman. Ironically, Kaman was named to the all-star team to replace Brandon Roy, out due to injury.



In predicting LaMarcus' all-star bid Fran Blinebury of NBA.com, who has covered the NBA since 1977, provided this analysis:

"The challenge was for Aldridge to step up and fill the leadership void in the absence of Brandon Roy. He has answered the call in a big way, keeping the Blazers in the playoff hunt. He's doing it in more ways than simply putting the ball into the hoop, too. His PER of 23.5 ranks seventh in the league, ranking ahead of Blake Griffin. Toss in the fact that he was robbed last year and this is a no-brainer."

LaMarcus' transformation from second banana to team leader -- or "Robin" to Brandon Roy's "Batman" as he referred to it -- has been remarkable and well-lamented within the BlazerNation. Last season he stepped into that leadership role, increasing his scoring average by nearly four points and a rebound from the 2009-10 season.

The improvement has continued. LaMarcus currently ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.3 points per game; fifth in efficiency rating (24.04) and eleventh in field goal shooting (.509). Earlier this season at Toronto, he set a career high in rebounds with 23.

In short, LaMarcus has proven his all-star worth in abundance.

He will join fellow Western Conference reserves Marc Gasol (Memphis), Kevin Love (Minnesota), Steve Nash (Phoenix), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), Tony Parker (San Antonio) and Dirk Nowitski (Dallas). They will join starters Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers), Andrew Bynum (L.A. Lakers), Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers) and Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers).

The Eastern Conference reserves, also announced today, will be Roy Hibbert (Indiana), Paul Pierce (Boston), Chris Bosh (Miami), Joe Johnson (Atlanta), Andre Iguodala (Philadephia) Luol Deng (Chicago) and Deron Williams (New Jersey). The starters are Dwight Howard (Orlando), Carmelo Anthony (New York), LeBron James (Miami), Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Dwayne Wade (Miami).

Coaching for the respective teams will be the staffs from the team holding the winning record in each conference as of February 15. The 2012 NBA All-Star Game will be played February 26 in Orlando.

~ KMM

In Kassandra's Words 
features regular blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass

  

6 Comments

  1. good blog i cant beleive dirk made it and i cant beleive perice made it specialy over granger rudy gay shoudl have gone over dirk

    by jamie (guy) on 2/9/2012 4:23 PM
  2. Great Blog Miss Kassandra: great to hear what we already knew.

    by Hg on 2/9/2012 4:45 PM
  3. Great piece! As I said just before the announcement - I am loving this year's jerseys, get me a #12!

    by Anees on 2/9/2012 5:33 PM
  4. Great Voice Kass, always a pleasure.

    by Devon Malone on 2/9/2012 5:42 PM
  5. @Jamie: i hear you; i didn't think Dirk would make it, and i doubted Parker would, though he has had a pretty good season. i certainly agree that Gay was snubbed.

    @Hg: i think i like the way you put that!

    @Annes: yeah, the jersey this year is pretty cool. on the other hand, i sure think Brandon looked good in his a few years back!

    @Devon: thanks! it was pretty cool to put this one together.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/10/2012 9:34 AM
  6. just thought i'd add something just tweeted by LeBron James:

    "S/O to LA for making the All-Star game! Well overdue and deserved. Also to the other 1st timers, AI, Luol, R Hibbert, A.Bynum and Marc Gasol"

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/10/2012 1:59 PM
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