Jan 24, 2014, 1:10 PM EST
LaMarcus Aldridge was good in the first half Thursday night, scoring 14 points but needing 14 shots to get there. So at the half Denver coach Brian Shaw decided not to make any changes, leaving J.J. Hickson (primarily) on an island with Aldridge.
That strategy backfired. In the second half Aldridge dropped 30 points on 15 shots, getting to the free throw line for 14-of-17 and killing the Nuggets at the rim (7-of-10 in the restricted area) and the midrange (8-of-16). He finished with a career high 44 points, not-so-coincidentally on a night he was not selected as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game.
I’m in the group that thinks Aldridge is the best four in the game right now, I give him a slim lead over Kevin Love because of his defense. But he plays in Portland and didn’t win the fan-vote popularity contest. He will be an All-Star, the coaches will vote him in for sure.
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- LaMarcus Aldridge decides to delay surgery, will return for Blazers Saturday vs. Wizards 7
- WATCH: Kobe Bryant’s doctor explains diagnosis to him following exam of injured shoulder 10
- Report: Cavaliers players say they ‘had lost faith’ due to lack of depth and roster construction 45
- Kobe Bryant will be back next season, he can’t resist the challenge 20
- Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 point quarter (VIDEO) 36
- If injury is serious, it would go against history for Kobe to be productive again 17
- Sixers’ leading scorer Tony Wroten suffers partially torn ACL, likely done for season 12