SlamOnline.com has ranked Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the No. 16 player in the NBA in its annual ranking of the league's top-50 players. Aldridge bumps up two spots from No. 18 last season.
Tracy Weissenberg explains their thinking.
Last season-Portland's first full campaign without Roy-Aldridge scored 21.7 points and averaged 8 rebounds, which nearly matched his totals from the previous season. More impressively, Aldridge was the only player in the NBA last season to average at least 20 points, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.
Over the past few seasons, he has become more comfortable in the post, and a more versatile scorer. According to hoopdata.com, Aldridge connected on 43 percent of his attempts from 16-23 feet last season. In comparison, Blake Griffin connected on 37 percent of those same shots, while shooting guard Kobe Bryant hit 41 percent. It also should be noted that since Aldridge has been in the League, the Blazers rank 25th with 79.6 field-goal attempts per game. Fewer possessions equal fewer points and rebound opportunities, as the pace has easily shaped his offensive and defensive stats.
On Thursday, Aldridge said that he felt he was the NBA's best power forward.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter