November 19, 2008

Aldridge in Decline. Oden at Fault?

The recent struggles of LaMarcus Aldridge sort of boiled over last night in an ugly road loss to the Warriors. Without actually knowing the guy personally, it’s obviously a little hard to start throwing out facts as to why he is playing sub-par basketball. One thing we can do though, is speculate like a mofo!

My initial reaction was to think, “Oh he’s just in a little slump and will likely come out of it any day!” Well basically 4 games into this pot hole, he’s starting to spiral downward a little faster than “come out of it any day” would have imagined. I’m starting to wonder, is Greg’s majestic return pushing LaMarcus and his game away?

Let’s look at the stat side:
  • Since Greg’s return in Miami, Aldridge’s minutes have been dropping in 10’s which is significant. In the first 7 games of the season, his minutes were hovering around 40 per game and with Greg now breaking shot clocks, his minutes have dropped to almost 31 per game. Of course, fouls, horrific refereeing, and luck play a big part in this stat, but it’s still worth a look.
  • When was his last double-double? Against Orlando, or better yet, the night before Oden returned.
  • His points per game are now down to 15.5 (9.75 per during Oden’s return) and rebounds down to 6.8 (6.25 per during Oden’s return). Those are pretty alarming if you ask me.
Why is this happening?
  • We all read the story on the friendship between Roy and Aldridge right? That let us in a little bit on his personality and being a guy that doesn’t necessarily like to open up to either change or new experiences? Is Oden’s return not easily welcomed by the guy that was performing as good or better than Roy during those first 7 games? This team was clearly looking like Brandon and LA’s; is it still?
  • From a game perspective, with Oden in the game, the team is obviously looking more in his direction. They are trying to work him into a groove by continuously feeding him the ball. I think it was Truehoop today that commented on how exciting it was to watch Oden and Roy work the pick and roll during the final minutes of last night’s game and I agree, but is it wise to push away your second best player?
Final thoughts:
  • He’s completely disappeared and it’s frustrating to watch as a fan. We all know how good this guy is and during their 4 game win streak, he was arguably the best player on the team. We need that LA back before we start hearing “unhappy” talk and find him running around with angry Spanish agents. Maybe tonight, McMillan can send some extra focus his way rather than watch him get into early foul trouble and then quickly move away?

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Matt 11/19/08, 1:36 PM  

I really think he gets back on track tonight. If not, I might get a little worried.

Anonymous 11/19/08, 1:48 PM  

I'm hoping he'll have a huge night tonight and this post can go to hell. :)

Who from Chicago stands a chance against the Blazer bigs tonight?

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This Portland Trail Blazers blog definitely isn't your basic "recap/report the news" kind of blog. We tend to lean a little to the sporadic and unsystematic side of this young and sexy basketball team. Oh, and you'll definitely see a lot of Blazer Dancer action around here, so bring your bucket of ice.

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