LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland’s All-Star power forward, seems to be drifting to the perimeter more this season. Jason Quick of the Oregonian asked him about his penchant for jumpers this season. Here’s how it went:
In a salty postgame interview Thursday after 7-for-17 shooting night, Aldridge said he doesn’t believe he is shooting too many jumpers.
“I don’t,’’ Aldridge said. “Obviously you do, you asked the question.’’
The data – through only five games this season – says Aldridge is taking more 16-23 foot shots than ever before. Why has a 6-foot-11 power forward taken 45 shots from 16-23 feet out, and only 24 shots from 9-feet and in? Why would you try to turn Aldridge into a perimeter shooter?
“He has plays that he calls that get me to the block.’’ Aldridge said of Stotts. “Other than that, you float to the elbow. So the offense is designed for me to be at the elbow.’’
“What do you want me to say?’’ Aldridge said. “I don’t have nothing to say. I’m taking what I’m getting out there. We call post up plays, but our offense starts at the elbow.’’
“Why am I shooting jump shots?’’ Aldridge snipped, repeating my question. “The system is designed for movement and flow, and the system is designed to be around the elbow. If you are around the elbow, you don’t post up. But we do have plays for me to post up.’’
So does he want to post-up more?
“I want to do what the team needs,’’ Aldridge said. “I’m not saying I want to post up more. I want to do what the team needs. If they need more pick-and-rolls, I will do more pick-and-rolls. If that’s what the team needs, I’ll do it. I want to do what the team needs to be successful.’’
Stotts is in his first season with the Blazers. Previously, he lost a lot of games while coaching the Hawks and Bucks. The Blazers have a young, talented roster with five players 27-or-under: Aldridge (27), Batum (23), Leonard (20), Lillard (22) and Matthews (26). Maybe Stotts is trying to get a pick-and-pop thing with Lillard, and it is just taking some time to get the kinks worked out. Or, he’s tinkering where he shouldn’t be. Aldridge is shooting 43 percent (by far a career low), and getting to the line half as often as he did the last two years.
In defense of Stotts … it’s only been five games. [Oregonian]