With the Blazers and Lakers playing tonight, now is a good time to compare two NBA players who were snubbed of an All-Star selection by the fans and coaches.
LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trailblazers is averaging 22 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks a game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line. Aldridge’s numbers have gone up across the board and the numbers don’t lie, as Aldridge has been the most important player on the Trail Blazers this season.
When Brandon Roy required knee surgery in January, anyone who doesn’t reside in Oregon wrote off the Blazers as lottery bound.
Surprisingly, the Blazers have hovered around fifth and sixth place in the highly competitive Western Conference with Roy recovering from surgery.
LaMarcus Aldridge’s evolution from second banana to one of the NBA’s elite big men.
Aldridge is the NBA’s reigning player of the month along with Dwight Howard, and he is eighth on NBA.com’s race to the MVP, four slots below the Black Mamba.
How Aldridge wasn’t an All-Star this year is one of the life’s great mysteries. Tim Duncan is averaging a career low in minutes, points and rebounds but made the team because he’s Tim Duncan. And Aldridge has done a much better job of carrying a cast of young role players compared to Blake Griffin, but Griffin made the team because the game was held in Los Angeles and he’s a highlight waiting to happen.
Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Mavericks, agrees that Aldridge should have been an All-Star.
“I want to go on record saying I voted for him,” Carlisle said. “I did and I don’t know how he didn’t make it. I really don’t. He’s had a great year. He’s been a monster both games we’ve played him. But, we hate seeing him and we hate playing against him because he’s so good.”
This season Aldridge has emerged as the centerpiece of the Blazers’ organization, and with the newly acquired Gerald Wallace and a Brandon Roy, who is a shadow of his former self, as his wingmen, the future of the Blazers looks promising.
Next: Lamar Odom