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Aldridge says he’s a No. 1, Blazers should build around him

Oct 15, 2012, 1:03 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Is LaMarcus Aldridge a real No. 1 guy for an NBA team?

How you answer that question determines what you think the Blazers need to be doing as they restructure the roster. If you think he is a Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard you can build a contender around, then the Blazers should be fitting pieces around him. If you think he is a No. 2 guy — a Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh type that is very good but needs to be the second option on a contender — then the Blazers need to be in the market for one of those guys.

There is no question where Aldridge thinks he falls on that list. From Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.

“I think every team in this league feels that I’m a number one and that’s why they double-team me and they scheme me the way they do it,” Aldridge told CSNNW.com. “If I wasn’t a number one, teams wouldn’t double-team me and teams wouldn’t try to take me out.

“So I don’t think there’s no need to bring in a number one. This organization can do whatever they want to do, but I think it’s definitely good to keep putting really solid pieces around myself, Dame [Lillard], Meyers [Leonard], and J.J. [Hickson]. But I don’t think it’s no need to bring in a number one, but if they do, I’ll play my role.”

Seven seasons into Aldridge’s career, he’s an All-Star who can bring you an efficient 21 and 8 every night. I think a lot of people around the nation, who don’t see the Blazers regularly, don’t realize just how good a player he is.

But he needs a No. 1 up there in Portland to go with him. Sorry. They have some interesting young pieces up in Portland with rookie Damian Lillard and the potential of J.J. Hickson, but even as they develop this team strikes me as the Pau Gasol Grizzlies. A team a piece away.

  1. nbascreed - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    He’s a number one but his logic as to why is severly flawed.

  2. thomaskouns - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    He’s a borderline number one.

    If he rebounded better it would really elevate him to a new plateau but as it is he’s an average at best rebounder for a 4.

    • tk41 - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Its impossible to get the league-wide respect of a #1 guy without the performing like a #1 guy – Aldridge is yet to perform like a #1. His rebounding is decent, but not dominant, and he is somewhat of a 4/5 hybrid player.

      When asked to shoulder his team’s game, Portland struggled. Portland’s biggest struggles last year were in games that “#1 guys” typically win – close games (point differential was only -0.6) and road games (8-25 road record).

      Aldridge is a tremendously talented player (assuming he has fully recovered from his heart condition) – but I believe the comparisons to Pau Gasol are pretty apt.

      Aldridge then was diagnosed with a serious

    • money2long - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      defense would also be a plus.

      • mlblogsbig3bosox - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        Actually, Aldridge can play defense. Not elite defense but solid defense. It’s just that to me he looks so much like Chris Bosh in Toronto or, like Kurt said, Gasol in Memphis. I bet that with a hard-nosed coach he could be a 20-10 guy just like Gasol became a double-double player with Phil.

      • money2long - Oct 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        im not debating the rebound aspect..i just think true number one players possess the ability to impact a game defensively. it’s not a mandate, but to be a franchise player who the team builds around, you must be able to carry the team on both ends of the floor. allen iverson was a good off the ball defender, great at getting into passing lanes. shot blocking, shot altering, positioning, help defense ability, steals, can he keep the opposing big man from getting his averages.

        does anyone believe aldridge makes strides in these aspects each game? maybe i need to watch him more, but the games i’ve watch him and it’s been a good enough sample size, he can make some improvements there. offensively, he can be trouble for opposing big men. he can move in the paint, can stretch the floor and i see him walk with the swagger of a number one. he wants the ball and he wants that pressure. in my mind, i didn’t feel he was too depressed seeing brandon roy decline and go only because it opened the door for him to be the man. not because he’s evil.

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