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February 10, 2013; Orlando FL, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) high fives point guard Damian Lillard (0) after he slam dunkes against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Orlando Magic defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 110-104. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Reaction: LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard All-NBA 3rd Team

At any given time during an NBA season there are about 450 players on roster across the league; 15 of which will make All-NBA teams 1-3. For the 2014-2015 season, LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard were among those 15. Each of them was voted onto the All-NBA 3rd team by a group of 125 media members. It is Aldridge’s second time on an All-NBA team (3rd team, 2010-2011) and Lillard’s first. Each team shakes out accordingly in order of votes received:

 

FIRST TEAM

(F) Kevin Durant
(F) LeBron James
(C) Joakim Noah
(G) Chris Paul
(G) James Harden

SECOND TEAM

(G) Stephen Curry
(G) Tony Parker
(F) Blake Griffin
(F) Kevin Love
(C) Dwight Howard

THIRD TEAM

(C) Al Jefferson
(F) Paul George
(F) LaMarcus Aldridge
(G) Goran Dragic
(G) Damian Lillard

Because human beings are spiteful, biased, little buggers, the voting will never be perfect (as illustrated by James falling short of unanimous selection), but I think this is about right for our Trail Blazers. One could make the case that Aldridge should take Love’s place on the 2nd team because he actually plays defense, but then again, adhering to that same criterion would probably bump Lillard from this list for someone like John Wall or Mike Conley (both of whom are equally deserving). All in all, I am pleased with the placement and, moreover, the inclusion.

Feb 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference forward Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat, Eastern Conference forward LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat Eastern Conference forward Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks and Eastern Conference forward Paul George (24) of the Indiana Pacers reacts from the bench during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference forward Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat, Eastern Conference forward LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat Eastern Conference forward Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks and Eastern Conference forward Paul George (24) of the Indiana Pacers reacts from the bench during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I do, however, think the media is overrating Lillard ever so slightly. Notice anyone missing from this list that could have possibly displaced Lillard from the 3rd team? Call it blasphemy if you like, but I think at least Carmelo Anthony is more worthy of the honor. My personal opinion aside, this selection is big for Lillard. You may have surmised from an earlier factoid that Aldridge did not make an All-NBA team until his fifth season. Lillard has set his own bar very high very early, and if there is one thing he likes to do, it is surpass expectations.

For the Trail Blazers, this is huge. They have not had two players named All-NBA in the same season since Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas in 1977-1978. Portland is starting to turn heads. Aldridge and Lillard are becoming the best one-two punch we have seen in Rip City since Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter, though I would say they have a long way to go yet. If nothing else, this honor is indicative of a bright future for the team. Whether that future remains bright in the long term is up to Aldridge in 2015, but I think another season like this one could mean seeing this duo for many years to come.

 

 

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Tags: All-nba Carmelo Anthony Damian Lillard LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers

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