LaMarcus Aldridge did it again. One of the most persistent criticisms of LaMarcus Aldridge during his eight-year career has been that he over-relies on his mid-range jumper at the expense of his low-post game. His 6-foot-11, long-armed frame and athletic tools make him a tough cover on the block, but he has never apologized for his perimeter approach, whether he’s lining up a straight-on look from the elbow or spinning into a baseline turnaround.
After scoring 46 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in Game 1, Aldridge nearly matched the feat in Game 2, pouring in a game-high 43 points (on 18-for-28 shooting) and grabbing eight rebounds. In doing so, he became the first player since then-Cavaliers forward LeBron James to score 40+ points in consecutive playoff games (May 2009), and he joins Michael Jordan and Tracy McGrady as the only players to go for 40+ points in Games 1 and 2 on the road. Aldridge now holds the No. 1 spot (Game 1) and No. 3 spot (Game 2) on the Blazers’ all-time postseason scoring list, and he is the only player in franchise history to top 40 points in two different playoff games.
A quick side-by-side of Aldridge’s shot charts from Game 1 (left) and Game 2 (right) illustrates his ability to influence a game from either the rim or the long two fringes.