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LaMarcus Aldridge could return to Portland lineup Thursday. They need him. Desperately.

Mar 26, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT

The Portland Trail Blazers are 3-8 in their last 11, have lost three in a row now and hit a new low in a loss to Orlando on Tuesday. They are sliding down the Western Conference standings and look like the team everyone wants to face in the first round of the playoffs.

Except they could get their All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge back on Thursday. If not then, soon.

Aldridge has been out seven games after taking a hard fall on his back against the Spurs but told the media he hopes to play Thursday against Atlanta. Chris Haynes of has the quotes.

“I say I’m trying to go no matter what [against Atlanta on Thursday] but if I look good enough to play [in Wednesday’s workout], then I’m going to play,” he said. “It’s up to the medical staff….

“It (losing) makes me want to play even worse, yes it does,” Aldridge answered in frustration. “But it’s not about me, it’s about the medical staff and them saying I can play. I’ve been wanting to play but obviously if you can’t move, you can’t play.”

We’ll see if he gets clearance, I wouldn’t bet big on it. Watch the video above and he says he wanted to play Tuesday night but “I can’t run, and if you can’t run what can you do?” So you can’t run on Tuesday but you’re going to play in an NBA game on Thursday?

I understand how frustrated Aldridge is, and you can see watching them play how much they miss his offense — no Aldridge makes it easier to focus on Damian Lillard and the other jump shooters on that team. Portland has struggled on the defensive end as well in their last 10 games and Aldridge can help solidify there, too.

But the Blazers stand no chance in the playoffs without him, they need Aldridge healthy and all the way back. If he’s not ready he can’t rush it. No matter how frustrating.

  1. spursareold - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    If they drop out of the playoffs after a fast start for the second year in a row, Stotts needs to be fired. It’s completely irresponsible to not develop an bench and essentially run a 7.5 man rotation. There was almost an excuse last year, but they imported better players and STILL run that exhaustingly short rotation. CJ McCollum was a top ten draft pick, and he’s played 32 games at about 14 minutes a game. How do you develop a young player like that?

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      RE: CJ…It’s hard to play with a broken foot, that’s why he missed half the season and why he fell so far behind.

  2. turnmymicup - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Yeah they need him back bad. I was at the game last night when they played Orlando. The magic were looking like a playoff team.

    • spursareold - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      They’re playing hard, and like Philly, have two lottery picks this year.

  3. bendover09 - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Aldridge to the Mavs is what needs to happen

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    “Portland has struggled on the defensive end as well in their last 10 games”

    Last 10 games? Try “all season”. And he needs to sit until he’s (reasonably) completely healthy. He was playing poorly before the back thing (groin).
    We just need guys to step up. Batum has shown he’s a double-double guy, he needs to be showing that every night. He should be an All-Star but doesn’t seem to bring it nightly. And that’s a damn shame.

  5. ptownbearsfan420 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    I agree with the 1st guy. Stotts needs to go. We are burning Lillard out.. And losing doing it. Horrible combo

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