Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the court on Thursday after missing seven games with a back injury. He scored a team-high 25 points (on 9-for-21 shooting) and grabbed 16 rebounds in 32 minutes during a 100-85 road victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that Aldridge said afterwards that his performance was "fueled" by a recent post by Dwight Jaynes.
"I heard he said I was going to come back shooting fadeaways and not really help us," Aldridge said to CSNNW.com. "So I just wanted to try to be more dominant down low. Sometimes when a person calls you out, they can only help you out. So I thank him."
"It definitely fueled me tonight," he said. "I feel like I bring more than fadeaway jumpshots to the team. Just like Kanye West said, everything I'm not makes me everything I am. So when I make a fadeway jumpshot to win the game, nobody is talking about that. But when I miss two or three, then everybody is calling me a guy that fades away from the basket. So it's give and take."
Here's the passage that prompted the reaction from Aldridge.
I'm also hearing that the return of LaMarcus Aldridge is going to change things. You know, it's said he's going to draw double-teams that will open up the three-point shooters. Well, maybe. The problem is, people seem to have already forgotten that over a good portion of the second half of the season, Aldridge has not drawn a lot of double teams. You don't need to double a player who is going to shoot a 22-foot, fallaway jumper. Aldridge's field-goal percentage has dropped steadily after the season's first 40 games. In his last 15 games he's shot 41.9 percent from the floor.
Aldridge was 4-for-6 in the paint and 5-for-15 on jump shots against the Hawks, who were without Al Horford and Pero Antic.
Portland's victory snapped a three-game losing streak and helped Portland move three games up on the Dallas Mavericks, who are now the West's No. 9 seed.
I'd also like to thank Jaynes for motivating me to go to Killer Burger a personal record three times in one week. That achievement wouldn't have been possible without Jaynes constantly doubting my ability to consume that much bacon.