Mar 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) dribbles against Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) during the fourth quarter at Target Center. Timberwolves won 106-94. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Haynes: Aldridge Expands Game to Include 3s


 

According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW, LaMarcus Aldridge plans to shoot more threes this year. Although I’d rather he focus on getting to the rim than stepping further out, there are no drawbacks to Aldridge expanding his skill set. Last season, Aldridge attempted just 14 threes, connecting on 2 of them, but his proficiency from the elbow would indicate potential for effectiveness beyond the arc. He just needs practice.

It will be interesting to see how Terry Stotts plans on using Aldridge, given this new development. I doubt his offensive role will shift too much, but sneaking LaMarcus out to the arc would create a surplus of space for Robin Lopez if done well. This makes a lot of sense, because Lopez is a very efficient scorer up close. He shot 69.1% at the rim last season, playing with Ryan Anderson (the best 3-point shooting power forward in the NBA) in New Orleans.

Even if Aldridge improves his range, it’s fair to say that the 3-ball will not be the first option for him. I think the Blazers would like him to be seen as a threat from deep who, in reality, is more of a diversion. Portland isn’t exactly loaded with slashers, but having LaMarcus slide out on occasion will cause some interesting mismatches in the middle.

Of course, it could be that Aldridge is legitimately hoping to play further from the basket. The stretch four is revolutionizing the way NBA teams are built, so I wouldn’t hold it against him if he wanted to dive further into that role. After all, the ability to shoot the three is one of the things that sets Kevin Love apart from other power forwards—How great would it be to see Aldridge receive the same recognition?


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