March 13, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) dribbles against Indiana Pacers power forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated Portland 92-75. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers 2012-2013 Player Projections: LaMarcus Aldridge

The Portland Trail Blazers are in a pickle with their roster right now. There’s a big disparity in the number of players at each position, and it seems as though the team will be featuring two rookies in their starting lineup — not your everyday equation for a Playoff-bound team, especially in the power-packed Western Conference.

But at the core of this young, seemingly rebuilding Blazers squad lies their general, LaMarcus Aldridge, who assumed the role after Brandon Roy was amnestied/retired.

After being snubbed in 2011, Aldridge played in his first All-Star game last season,  boasting season averages of 21.7 points, eight rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.9 steals per game. And with everything going on in Blazerland this year, those numbers have no other direction to go but up.

The newest head honcho in Portland, Terry Stotts played a key role in the Dallas Mavericks’ championship season. Serving as their assistant coach during the run, Stotts’ role was a sort of offensive mastermind, developing new ways to help get the Dallas shooters open.

With Stotts running the show, as well as Kaleb Canales, Jay Triano, David Vanterpool and big man specialist, Kim Hughes, L.A.’s numbers will spike again this year, earning him another All-Star reserve position on the Western Conference All-Star team.

Aside from Nicolas Batum, who’s also staring at a make-or-break season, and Wesley Matthews, the majority of the scoring responsibility will be placed on Aldridge’s shoulders.

2012-2013 Projections: 24.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.1 steals per game


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