Following probably his strongest stretch of play this season, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and coach Terry Stotts pushed back against criticism of his shot locations, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian.
"I think it's a legitimate observation," Stotts said, referring to Aldridge's dip in shooting percentage and rebounding. "But it's undue criticism that he's not being aggressive or he's being soft or that he's not pounding inside. He is doing all those things when he has opportunities."
"No, because I don't think about it," Aldridge responded. "I feel like everybody else puts so much emphasis on it. I'm not. I didn't make a big effort to get down low. It's just that pick and rolls weren't working for us, so it was better to get a postup. It was just another option for us to play out of since the pick and rolls weren't working for us."
"I don't even want to talk about it anymore," he said. "People are always going to find something to knit pick at and that's just what they knit pick at so it doesn't bother me. That's basketball. People are always going to have something to write about."
Aldridge was called "soft" recently by one columnist. Another writer wondered whether the Blazers should consider trading Aldridge.
His drastic increase in perimeter shots was examined over the weekend. I took a look at the redistribution of his shot locations earlier this season. His interior play was much stronger on Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.
I talked a little Aldridge with Chad Doing of 750 AM The Game on Tuesday. Audio here. Segment starts at the 26 minute mark.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter