Over and over people keep on pointing out how "soft" LaMarcus is. Now it's clear that LaMarcus isn't Buck Williams or Karl Malone. He's never going to be an enforcer presence. But is he really soft?
I went over to 82games to look at some of the numbers. Statistically LaMarcus does not look too soft. First he out-rebounds opposing power forwards by about .9 rebounds per 48 minutes. So he's not getting bullied on the boards. Opposing Power Forwards average 5.5 Fouls/48 minutes compared to his 3.7 Fouls/48 minutes given, so he's drawing fouls and not fouling his opponent. He's also blocking his opponents at twice the rate they are getting blocks 1.5 Blk/48 min. vs. .8 Blk/48 min. The only area he looks soft in is his opponents are getting to the line more 4.9 trips vs. 4.7 trips. Since he's not fouling they are getting past him and Oden or Pryz are the ones fouling. But in all you see a Power Forward who is outproducing opposing power-forwards both offensively and defensively.
Because he plays a lot in the high-post and facing the basket I think that it gives the appearance that he doesn't want to bang in the middle. I believe he's out high because he can score out there and he keeps opponent PF's out of the middle. This leads to us owning the offensive boards. We lead the league in offensive rebounds, because Greg and Joel are only facing one guy for many boards and not many people can out-rebound Greg or Joel alone. If we got more wins out of LaMarcus playing a back to the basket game, he would be in there banging. It's not that he can't, it's that it isn't his role in our offense.
Now, he's a skinny tall guy and can be moved because of his build. This does not make him a 'soft' player. He just plays defense to his strengths which aren't manhandling his opponents, and it seems to work a lot of the time. If he outrebounds, outblocks, draws more fouls and outscores the opposing power-forward then he's hard enough for me.
Link to stats: http://www.82games.com/0809/08POR10.HTM