LaMarcus Aldridge finished 3rd among vote receiving players that did not make an All-NBA team; just behind Stephen Curry and just ahead of Chris Bosh. While disappointed, I am not entirely surprised. One can argue for or against LaMarcus being a top 15 player with valid points on either side of the argument. On one hand, he is a spectacular jump shooter, on the other he lacks aggression. On that first hand, he has a fluid post game, on the other his defense isn’t top tier. He is perennially on the cusp.
I do find one thing curious, however. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin was voted All-NBA 2nd team. Let that soak in. The high flying, hard flopping, Lob City leaper not only beat out LaMarcus Aldridge, but he wasn’t even 3rd team! Never mind his heavy reliance on Chris Paul, or inability to make a free throw, or even his bizarre incompetence outside the paint; Griffin is apparently a top 10 player.
What do you look for in a post player? Someone who can score, rebound, defend the hoop, and not be a liability at the charity stripe. This year, Aldridge bested Griffin in points per game, rebounds per game, blocks per game, and free throw percentage. Granted, Aldridge played more minutes, but battling season-long fatigue should be another point in his column.
It’s not that Griffin is untalented, he’s truly quite impressive, but when it comes to comparison LaMarcus is a no-brainer. It would appear that this year’s voters prefer relative sizzle to proven steak. This is what you get in a small market. It’s the same reason Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders missed both All-Defensive teams this year. Overcoming the comparatively minor exposure is a constant uphill battle.
Perhaps next year the red-headed stepchildren of the NBA will be rewarded for their abilities, but it doesn’t seem likely. Despite years of NBA prominence, LaMarcus Aldridge has just one 3rd team selection to show for his efforts (2010-2011). I would be less salty over this pseudo-snub if the upper-echelon did not include players beneath his skill set. Although I must say, for the most part, I agree with many of this year’s selections.
All-NBA 1st Team
All-NBA 2nd Team
All-NBA 3rd Team