Found December 12, 2012 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
How great can LA be?
Every NBA player has a ceiling, and it’s possible that the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge has hit his in his seventh season.
At 27 years old, LaMarcus Aldridge is the go-to option on his team, he’s a solid 20-points-per-game player and he is one of the best power forwards in the entire league. The question is, can he get even better?
At this point, it’s difficult to imagine Aldridge pushing his game to another level. He’s already proven people wrong when they said he couldn’t take his game to the low block, but the areas where he needs to truly improve is in the rebounding and shot-blocking areas of the stat sheet.
Aldridge is a top power forward in the NBA, but he may have hit his ceiling at 27. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE)
Aldridge is 6’11”, 240 pounds, and he has the frame to be a presence on the glass despite averaging just 7.6 rebounds for his career. He also has the wingspan to affect shots on defense, but his focus has always been on the offensive end, and it’s difficult to imagine that changing as he gets older.
The other area where Aldridge has seemingly maxed out is in his toughness. He’s shown he can take over in big moments, but that mentality doesn’t always appear to be present.
Despite being the sole veteran with All-Star experience, the Blazer big has been plagued by inconsistency this season. He’s been given more shots than ever before in his career, yet his field-goal percentage is the lowest it’s ever been. His points have also dipped below what we’ve seen the last two years.
Aldridge has likely hit his NBA ceiling, but if you’re a fan in Rip City, this isn’t a bad thing.
Aldridge’s ceiling has made him an All-Star power forward in a tough Western Conference. Whether he gets back to the All-Star game this year or not, he’s one of the best big men in the league, and he’s an offensive threat every night of the week.
Hitting your ceiling early isn’t a bad thing, especially when you’re ceiling is higher than most in the NBA will ever experience.
Aldridge was thrust into the lead role following the injuries of Brandon Roy, and he took full advantage. He became the team’s leading scorer, he began shooting the ball better than 50 percent and he officially made a name for himself on the national stage.
If Aldridge effectively improves his rebounding and shot-blocking numbers—while remaining a threat on offense—it’s possible that he could take another step in the direction toward the best power forward in the game.
Until then, though, you have to believe Aldridge has hit his ceiling while still being one of the best bigs that the league has to offer.
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BEST OF MAXIM
After a two week hiatus of Rick’s Picks, we’re back to recognizing notable Portland Trail Blazers performances (question is, were there actually any to write of?).
Jokes aside, the Blazers have played less than stellar basketball over the last few weeks, and their record over that time (3-7 over the last 3 weeks) is telling of their struggles.
Poor bench play, a...
The Portland Trail Blazers, now 9-12, have good news heading their way. Both Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are making progress and could be returning to action soon. Mike Tokito of The Oregon Live reported that the team is hoping to have both Matthews and Batum back by Thursday when the Blazers take on the Spurs. Both players made individual comments about their progress.“My...
Former Portland Trail Blazers center Sam Bowie is one of the most infamous draft picks in NBA history. Bowie was a star at Kentucky, and Portland selected him with the second overall pick in the 1984 draft. Michael Jordan was then selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls.
The Blazers passed on Jordan because they already had Clyde Drexler, but had they known everything about Bowie...
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 92-74 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in a game that was overshadowed by injuries for both sides.
Toronto also lost reserve Amir Johnson in the second half after he was ejected for arguing with an official. Johnson threw his mouthpiece and had to be restrained by his teammates...
Sam Bowie resents the fact that he is being accused of lying to the Portland Trail Blazers about the extent of his knee injury. Earlier this week, word surfaced that Bowie admitted in a documentary — which will air later this month on ESPNU — that he told doctors he didn’t feel anything when they tested his knee. However, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft said it...
Blazers manage to hold things together
The Headline: playing without starters Nicolas Batum (back) and Wesley Matthews (hip), Portland comes up with a big win and halts their losing streak at two games.
Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
When: 10:00 ET, Monday, December 10, 2012
Where: Rose Garden (Portland)
Officials: Rodney Mott, James Williams, David Jones
Toronto's Amir Johnson has been ejected from a game against the Portland Trail Blazers for arguing with an official.
Johnson had words with referee David Jones while trying to take the ball from him following a Portland free throw. After Johnson was ejected, he threw his mouthpiece at Jones.
Fellow players had to restrain Johnson before he was escorted from the floor on Monday...
The Portland Trail Blazers are in a much less enviable position than the San Antonio Spurs, though they played to the Southwest Division leaders' level in a tough loss last month.
Both teams may look different this time around.
Portland could be without Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews for a second straight game Thursday night when it hosts San Antonio, which is coming off...
Twenty games into the 2012-13 season, the Portland Trail Blazers find themselves 8-12 with a fan base that is starting to head for the exits. Prior to their recent east coast road trip, the Blazers were hovering around the .500 mark. When the Blazers returned to the Rose City after 7 road games in 10 [...]
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Toronto big man Amir Johnson may be facing a suspension after chucking his mouthpiece at a referee during Monday night's game against the Trail Blazers.From the Bleacher Report:Between Portland center J.J. Hickson's free-throw attempts, Johnson got into an apparent argument with referee David Jones while trying to retrieve the basketball. As Jones made his way toward the...
If you were to poll all the experts, reporters, or anyone in the know prior to the season, I promise you none of them had Portland Trailblazers‘ point guard Damian Lillard slotted as their favorite for this year’s Rookie of the Year award. I’ll admit to not knowing anything about him until he became the [...]The post Dommermuth: Just Who Is Damian Lillard? appeared first on OfficialHoops.
Sam Bowie now admits he was not completely honest about the pain in his legs in the lead-up to the 1984 NBA draft, if that makes you feel any better, Portland Trail Blazers fans.
No, we didn’t think it would.
Bowie, the 7-foot-1 center out of Kentucky who was infamously taken one spot ahead of Michael Jordan, is the subject of an upcoming ESPN documentary to which Yahoo! Sports...
Twenty games into the 2012-13 season, the Portland Trail Blazers find themselves 8-12 with a fan base that is starting to head for the exits. Prior to their recent east coast road trip, the Blazers were hovering around the .500 mark. When the Blazers returned to the Rose City after 7 road games in 10 days in which they lost 5 of them and won 2 in overtime, Blazer fans’ optimism...
Back to the competition
The Portland Trail Blazers have wrapped up the easy part of their early-season schedule, and they’ll be hosting the San Antonio Spurs at the Rose Garden Thursday night.
Matchup: Portland (9-12) vs. San Antonio (18-5)
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Time: 7:30 PM PT
Date: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
The Blazers haven’t played a true contender in weeks, and it will...