Feb 25, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Western Conference forward LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers (left) and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies (right) chat during the 2012 NBA All-Star team practice session at the Orange County Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge made his All-Star debut on Sunday night, scoring 4 points, grabbing one rebound and dishing one assist as the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 152-149, in the 2012 NBA All-Star game at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
The story of the night for Aldridge, unfortunately, was his playing time, or lack thereof. Aldridge played just 9:48 according to the official box score, the fewest minutes of every player for the Western Conference, saving Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum. Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng was the only Eastern Conference player who saw less court time. Aldridge sat for the entire first and third quarters, getting his run in short stretches at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters.
After the game, Aldridge addressed a small group of reporters in the Mixed Zone media area, saying that he was as surprised about his playing time as everyone else. He said multiple times that he "definitely" expected more run.
"8 minutes? 9 minutes? I definitely did... I thought I was going to play more. It's fine though. I had fun."
Aldridge said that the last time he can remember playing so little was the 2006-2007 season, when he averaged 22 minutes a night, mostly off of the bench.
"My rookie year. When I was playing behind Zach Randolph," Aldridge said. "I haven't played that amount of minutes in a long time. It's an All-Star Game, it was my first one."
"That's the toughest thing about being in this position," Brooks said of managing minutes. "There's 12 guys that are deserving. Such elite, select company to be one of the 12 All-Stars. This is his first time of many. I thought his minutes... he played hard, he played well."