Aldridge Still Playing Too Much Center



LaMarcus Aldridge is officially an MVP candidate. Though, he could still be better because he still plays too much Center IMO. Let me explain. LA takes up 53% of our time at the PF spot & 24% of the teams minutes at center. Compared to last year he played 61% of the teams minutes at PF & 8% of the center minutes. Lets compare that to title year Dirk, or any for that matter, but stick with that since Stotts was a part of that run. 62% of minutes of the Mavericks total PF minutes & only 1% of their center rotation. Checking a few years before that, he didn't play more than 7% of the teams center minutes. As we know LaMarcus has never really liked playing center, especially defensively. To put it simply, he is better offensively & defensively when playing Power Forward. I'll analyze & use stats from this season via

LaMarcus's advantage in his game when he is playing Power Forward:

  • LA takes more shots, more efficiently at PF compared to center.(FGA 26.3 on eFG% .450 at PF vs 25.7 & .436 at C)
  • LA defends power forwards better than centers. His opposition attempts more shots against him at PF, but they score at a worse rate. At the 5 opponents shoot less but are much more efficient. (Opponent FGA 15.2 & eFG% of .475 at PF vs 12.6 & .511 at C)
  • LA gets many more play making opportunities at the 4(Assists 4.1 at PF vs 1.4 at C)
  • LA gets more fouls personal fouls at the 5(Fouls 2 at PF vs 3.3 at C)
  • LA is infinitely better at defending PF's than he is defending C's(Opponent InsideFG% 36 at PF vs 54% at C)
  • LA playing center results in the opposing player getting to the line significantly more than when he is at PF(Opponent FTA 2 at PF vs 4.7 at C)
  • LA gets blocked less when playing PF(Opponent Blocks .4 at PF vs 1.6 at C)

LaMarcus's advantage in his game when he is playing Center:

  • LA is a slightly better rebounder against centers(Rebounds 13.4 at C vs 12.5 at PF)
  • LA scores inside at a higher rate when he plays C (InsideFG 28% at C vs 20% at PF)
  • LA gets to the line three times as often at C(FTA 12.3 at C vs 3.7 at PF)
  • LA scores about five more PPG Per 48 at the 5, but not as efficiently as when he plays the 4 (31.5pts at C vs 26.8 at PF)
  • LA turns the ball over less when he is at the center spot, which impressive with how much more aggressive he is(T/O 2.5 at C vs 3.4 at PF)
  • LA gives up more assists at PF than when he plays C(Opponent Assists 1.1 at C vs 2.7 at PF)
  • LA's opponent turns the ball over twice as when he is at the 5(Opponent Turnovers 3.8 at C vs 1.9 at PF)
  • LA, as his FTA increase would indicate he gets fouled more when he plays center. (Opponent Fouls 7.7 at C vs 4.2 at PF)

LaMarcus does some things near equally well at both positions.

  • LA gets exactly the same amount of blocks at PF & C(1.4)
  • LA's opponents basically score the same whether he is at the 4 or 5(Opponent Points 16.7 at C vs 16 at PF)
  • LA's opponents rebounding is also a scratch regardless of position(Opponent Rebounds 9.7 at PF vs 10.1 at C

Not really interested in the net numbers, which say LaMarcus is better at center, but to possibly come to a conclusion that will lead to an even better LaMarcus Aldridge. The biggest arguments I have for LaMarcus to stop playing center is simple. He is better on both ends when he plays his natural position, particularly in efficiency, defense & play making which leads to efficient shots for the team & a better overall team offensive performance. While turnovers increase, he deserves to be able to make mistakes like all other superstars. While right now LA seems happy playing the 5 in spurts because he finally respects all his team mates & coach, long term it will be better for his body to not being going against centers.

Stats via

Be sure to vote in the poll about LA & his positional effectiveness. Voice your opinion whether he should play more five, whether we have enough talent at that position & who would you acquire if you were Neil Olshey?

Go Blazers!

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