This was not the post I was expecting to write on LaMarcus Aldridge after 30 games but with the way things have been shaking out lately, it was inevitable. I took a quick look at the last 10 games with the Blazers going 4-6 and then focused solely on the 6 losses; the results were not pretty at the power forward slot. I was looking for any sort of trend toward Mr. Aldridge after watching him get absolutely torched last night in the fourth quarter by a D-Leaguer and pretty much costing the team a sure X-mas Day win.
Here were the 6 games and the guy(s) he was matched up against with their stats:
- Boston - Kevin Garnett - 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 turnovers
- Orlando - Rashard Lewis - 27 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 turnovers
- Utah - Paul Milsap - 17 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers
- Utah - Mehmet Okur - 27 points, 10 rebounds
- Clippers - Zach Randolph - 38 points, 11 rebounds, 2 turnovers
- Denver - Kenyon Martin - 8 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks
- Dallas - Dirk Nowitzki - 30 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
And don't forget that the 30 points from Dirk last night came almost exclusively in the first half and end of the 4th quarter as he had 4 fouls just a minute into the 3rd quarter. And that also doesn't list Brandon Bass who dropped 8 points in the final minutes last night with LA on him to finish off the Blazers.
A little conclusion?
Aldridge is easily the second most talented player on this team offensively but on the defensive end, he could rank almost dead last with Rudy Fernandez close behind. He's been questioned continually over the last 2 years about his toughness and has seemed to get publicly frustrated with the notion. So what I'm wondering is, when is he going to prove us wrong?
And a side note...
If "pick and roll" defense isn't on today's practice schedule for a full 45 minutes, then I'm going to start questionning Nate as well. They are absolutely the worst pick and roll defending team in the entire league.
And a second side note...
If boxing out 6 foot midget D-League point guards isn't taking up the other 45 minutes of practice, then I'm going to buy a Jose Juan Barea jersey and wear it to every remaining home game as a reminder.