The pressure of being a lottery pick in the NBA can drive rookies to success, but it can also be what drives prospects out of the league all together.
The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t hold back this summer when they drafted a mid-major star to be their point guard of the future, and at this phase in the rebuilding process, it appears that the team’s success relies heavily upon the ceiling of Damian Lillard.
By the end of the 2011-12 NBA season, one thing was clear for the Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge cannot carry a team by himself.
Aldridge is a fantastic player—he is an All-Star, a 20-point-per-game scorer and one of the top power forwards in the league—but on a depleted roster following last year’s trade deadline, the team slipped and fell to one of the more disappointing outcomes in recent franchise history.
Don’t blame Aldridge alone for the lost season, but the guy needs help if the team is going to get back to a culture of winning sometime in the near future.