Jason Quick of The Oregonian writes that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is settling too often for perimeter shots this season. Aldridge and coach Terry Stotts respond by saying that it's a function of where he is placed in the team's new offense.
In a salty postgame interview Thursday after 7-for-17 shooting night, Aldridge said he doesn't believe he is shooting too many jumpers.
"I don't,'' Aldridge said. "Obviously you do, you asked the question.''
"He has plays that he calls that get me to the block.'' Aldridge said of Stotts. "Other than that, you float to the elbow. So the offense is designed for me to be at the elbow.''
Said Stotts: "I want him to do everything. We posted him up, we had him in pick and rolls, (the Clippers) did a good job of forcing him out of post ups a little bit. But what I want is for him to have a little bit of everything. We called his post up plays and involved him in pick and rolls and free throw (isolations), so he's going to have a variety of looks. But he got it down there. He got it on the block. He has to do a little bit of everything.''
It's simple math. Aldridge has made 58.3 percent of his shots from the paint over his career, and he's made 41.8 percent of his shots from between the paint and the 3-point line (a far cry from Dirk Nowitzki, who's a career 46.8 percent shooter from mid-range).
Over the years, there hasn't been a correlation between the percentage of shots a team takes from the paint and its offensive efficiency. But it's clear that the Blazers need Aldridge to get in the low post and get to the line. If he continues to float around the perimeter, they're going to struggle on both ends of the floor, and it could be a very ugly season in Portland.
Right now, Aldridge is shooting a paltry 43 percent overall and he's gone to the free-throw line just 12 times in five games. It's early, but he's having the worst season of his career, and you can easily point to his shot selection as the reason why.
Here's Dave's take on Aldridge from last night's game.
LaMarcus Aldridge did a number on Blake Griffin defensively. The Kia-jumping All-Star went 3-9 for 7 points. You do have to account Griffin's 10 rebounds as a positive, as Aldridge managed only 4...a rare return to last year's form. He had to chase Griffin though. Aldridge shot 7-17 for 14 points, well below his standard. He stayed on the outside mostly and his jump shot form alternated between pure and "What the heck was that?" He did have 5 assists.
My concern was that Aldridge looked a little bit resigned at times.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter