The second overall pick in the 2006 draft has helped his team maintain the third playoff spot in a competitive Western Conference before the All-Star break. His leadership and consistent level of play has been vital for the league’s surprise team of the season.
The ex-University of Texas power forward has lid up the scoreboards this season. His ability to make shots from underneath the basket or from 18-feet has resulted in a career high 24.1 points per game. The Trail Blazers captain has also averaged a career high 11.6 rebounds per game.
Aldridge has used his ability to post up any defender to full potential. When guarded by players like Serge Ibaka, Blake Griffin and David Lee, Aldridge has been virtually unstoppable.
In three games against the Ibaka and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Aldridge has averaged 30.7 points on 51 percent shooting. Because of his efficiency, the Trail Blazers won two of the three games against the Western Conference leaders.
Aldridge best game came against Western Conference rivals, Denver Nuggets. He recorded a career-high 44 points (30 points in the second half) in just over 38 minutes of play, secured 13 boards and dished out five assists while being guarded by the “manimal,” Kenneth Faried. On his home court, Aldridge proved he was capable of putting his team on his back by scoring Portland’s final 15 points to secure a 110-105 victory.
Thanks to the eight year power forward’s dominating play so far this season, the Trail Blazers have won two more games before the All-Star break than they did all of last season. However, Aldridge is still commodiously underrated.
Even though Aldridge has been the catalyst for the best offensive team in the association, he is still not considered to be the best in his position. This was evident when two other power forwards‒Blake Griffin (23.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game) and Kevin Love (25.6 points and 13.2 rebounds per game)–were selected by fans to start at the All-Star game over Aldridge.
It is understandable to say that the Aldridge isn't the best power forward in the league. He faces vigorous competition for the hypothetical title from players like Anthony Davis, Griffin, Love, Tim Duncan and many more. But his attainments midway through the season should have earned him a starting spot on the Western Conference an All-Star team.