The Portland Trail Blazers are on a roll right now. They are fresh off of a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder and are firmly in first place in the West, and they have one man to thank for that, Lamarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge is playing at an MVP level right now, and that didn’t change last night. He had a monster night despite being matched up with one of the league’s premier defenders in Serge Ibaka. Aldridge finished with 38 points and 13 rebounds as he dominated the glass and scored at will on the Thunder.
Many have wondered what the difference has been for this team. It looks like they finally have a starting five they can rely on. Robin Lopez has provided a solid defensive presence as a big man who can also rebound and chip in scoring.
They have lacked a skilled big man like Lopez for a while. Damian Lillard is also growing into an elite point guard in the West. He is averaging a shade over 20 points a game and is shooting at a near 40 percent clip from long range.
Lillard and Aldridge look like two emerging superstars. The Blazers are no flash in the pan. This is a team that can contend in a stacked Western Conference. Their starting five rounds out with sharp shooter Wesley Matthews, and ultra athletic ace defender Nicolas Batum, who is also lethal from down town.
This team isn’t going anywhere. They can legitimately come out of the West. The San Antonio Spurs will be a major threat no doubt, but the Blazers have one major thing on them, youth.
I see the Blazers coming out of the Western Conference and challenging for the NBA title this season.