LaMarcus Aldridge is a bit of a favorite in the TSS e-office. His silky post game, his mid-range J; an argument can always be made that he’s the best overall power forward in basketball, even while Kevin Love stuffs stat sheets and Blake Griffin breaks down backboards.
For the first time since Brandon Roy was making defenders look foolish, Aldridge has the firepower around him to turn the Trailblazers into a contender. Their 15-3 record heading into Wednesday night’s game indicated as much, but taking down the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-104 really provided that kind of statement-game that makes ESPN writers want to talk about you.
LA* went off for 38 points and 13 rebounds, taking whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted from Serge Ibaka and co. And, while he wasn’t joined by any one standout performance in particular (usual partner-in-crime Damian Lillard only had 14, off from his 20 ppg average), every starter scored in double-digits.
It’s still very early in the season, obviously. But when you think about Portland’s success in relation to the players that they’ve brought in over the past two or three seasons (Lillard, the criminally underrated Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum), their scorching start isn’t shocking. They’ll make for some fun playoff games.
And Oklahoma City? A loss on the road against a good team is nothing to get pissy over, but Russell Westbrook getting bruised up might. Dah well. Here’s a video of Kevin Durant yamming on the Blazers to make Word feel better.
* — Correct me if LaMarcus has a better nickname.