NBA Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge’s Returns Too Late

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It would be extremely unfair to blame the Portland Trail Blazers recent slide, which has put them out of the NBA playoff race, on LaMarcus Aldridge‘s ankle injury.

However, it didn’t help that Aldridge missed four games, all of which the Blazers lost. They needed to win these and they needed Aldridge in the lineup.

Aldridge was slated to return Friday night to face the Houston Rockets. Aldridge will try to regain his form, have an outstanding rest of the season, and try to get his team in a good position to go after a playoff spot next year.
It’s tough to take Aldridge out of the lineup and find compensation. The Trail Blazers weren’t able to which is not surprising considering Aldridge’s outstanding talent. He can’t be replaced and once he was declared unavailable to the Blazers, their playoff chances evaporated.

For the season, Aldridge has been averaging 21.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Those are all up from his career averages of 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.

If he can pick up where he left off prior to the injury, the Blazers should win most of their remaining games and have a good feeling going into next season. Hopefully he can perform as well as he has in three past games against the Houston Rockets this season, where he was averaging 29.0 points 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists and was making 53.5 percent of his shots.

If he plays like the old Aldridge, the Blazers should be a sure bet to end their six-game losing streak.