VIDEO: Aldridge And Lopez Ham It Up For McLoughlin Auto Mall

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

I talked on this week’s podcast about how I thought LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez had a hard to describe camaraderie that I had not seen another player develop with Aldridge, let along in such a short amount of time together. Well, this commercial for the McLoughlin Auto Mall is a great example of what I was talking about.

No point trying to explain what’s going on in the spot, which is great, by the way. But besides being a rather comical way to get someone to a car lot, it’s a great indicator of the relationship between Portland’s starting power forward and center. And Aldridge’s willingness to poke a little fun at his reported discontent this summer shows just how comfortable he is with his current situation.

Here’s the blooper reel as well.

(Nice work by the folks at Pinwheel Empire for finding this)

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Aldridge, Lillard Keep Pace In NBA 'Race To The MVP' Rankings

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 year ago

It’s been a while since we checked in on NBA.com’s weekly “Race To The MVP Ladder” rankings, so let’s catch up on where LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard stack up among the most valuable players in the NBA this season.

Aldridge comes in at No. 6 this week, a four-spot improvement from last week …

Forget about the pedestrian recent numbers (15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists in his last five games) and consider that Aldridge might be the toughest player in the league this season, playing with that torn ligament in his left thumb. The Trail Blazers are going to need every bit of energy he can muster down the stretch of this regular season if they’re going to hold on to their spot in the top half of the Western Conference playoff chase. Aldridge, who is averaging an impressive 23.1 points and 10.3 rebounds on the season, and the Blazers will get a huge test from that revamped, Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder team Friday night at Moda Center. The Thunder frontcourt better be ready for heavy doses of Aldridge early, often and all night as the Trail Blazers try and make a statement of their own.

After taking the first two games this season, the Trail Blazers could clinch the season series with the Thunder by winning tonight’s game, always a nice ace to have up your sleeve in case the Western Conference playoff race comes down to tiebreakers. Portland, as we saw on Sunday versus the Grizzlies, needs Aldridge to beat the best teams in the league, and with the way Westbrook has been playing, the Thunder certainly qualify as one of the best right now.

Aldridge is ranked behind Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague at No. 5 and ahead of Golden State guard Klay Thompson at No. 7.

As for Lillard, he comes in at No. 9 this week, two spots lower than last week …

Lillard’s role as catalyst and director for a team that has a player as accomplished as LaMarcus Aldridge makes his inclusion on this list even more impressive. Lillard is asked to play so many different roles (facilitator, scorer, etc.) that a simple position designation doesn’t do his game justice. In eight games this month, Lillard is averaging 19.6 points, 6.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 seals. Lillard worked the San Antonio Spurs for 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a home win Wednesday night, knocking down 7 of his 15 shots from the floor and 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point line. When Lillard is consistently knocking down that deep ball, he’s as dangerous as any point guard in the league.

Wednesday night’s performance was a step in the right direction for Lillard and Wesley Matthews, both of whom have experienced minor lulls in their three-point shooting percentage since the start of February. But both players, particularly Lillard, have tried to attack the basket more often while waiting for the three ball to come back around, so it’s not all bad.

Lillard is ranked behind Grizzlies center Marc Gasol at No. 8 and ahead of Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry at No. 10.

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Aldridge, Lillard Keep Pace In NBA ‘Race To The MVP’ Rankings

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 year ago

It’s been a while since we checked in on NBA.com’s weekly “Race To The MVP Ladder” rankings, so let’s catch up on where LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard stack up among the most valuable players in the NBA this season.

Aldridge comes in at No. 6 this week, a four-spot improvement from last week …

Forget about the pedestrian recent numbers (15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists in his last five games) and consider that Aldridge might be the toughest player in the league this season, playing with that torn ligament in his left thumb. The Trail Blazers are going to need every bit of energy he can muster down the stretch of this regular season if they’re going to hold on to their spot in the top half of the Western Conference playoff chase. Aldridge, who is averaging an impressive 23.1 points and 10.3 rebounds on the season, and the Blazers will get a huge test from that revamped, Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder team Friday night at Moda Center. The Thunder frontcourt better be ready for heavy doses of Aldridge early, often and all night as the Trail Blazers try and make a statement of their own.

After taking the first two games this season, the Trail Blazers could clinch the season series with the Thunder by winning tonight’s game, always a nice ace to have up your sleeve in case the Western Conference playoff race comes down to tiebreakers. Portland, as we saw on Sunday versus the Grizzlies, needs Aldridge to beat the best teams in the league, and with the way Westbrook has been playing, the Thunder certainly qualify as one of the best right now.

Aldridge is ranked behind Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague at No. 5 and ahead of Golden State guard Klay Thompson at No. 7.

As for Lillard, he comes in at No. 9 this week, two spots lower than last week …

Lillard’s role as catalyst and director for a team that has a player as accomplished as LaMarcus Aldridge makes his inclusion on this list even more impressive. Lillard is asked to play so many different roles (facilitator, scorer, etc.) that a simple position designation doesn’t do his game justice. In eight games this month, Lillard is averaging 19.6 points, 6.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 seals. Lillard worked the San Antonio Spurs for 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a home win Wednesday night, knocking down 7 of his 15 shots from the floor and 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point line. When Lillard is consistently knocking down that deep ball, he’s as dangerous as any point guard in the league.

Wednesday night’s performance was a step in the right direction for Lillard and Wesley Matthews, both of whom have experienced minor lulls in their three-point shooting percentage since the start of February. But both players, particularly Lillard, have tried to attack the basket more often while waiting for the three ball to come back around, so it’s not all bad.

Lillard is ranked behind Grizzlies center Marc Gasol at No. 8 and ahead of Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry at No. 10.

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Aldridge (Right Thumb) Will Play Wednesday Versus Spurs

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 year ago

TUALATIN — After missing Sunday night’s game with a sprained right thumb, everyone in attendance for Wednesday’s practice wanted to know one thing: LaMarcus Aldridge’s status for Wednesday night’s nationally-televised contest versus the Spurs at the Moda Center (tipoff scheduled for 7:30 pm on ESPN, KGW and 620 AM). And in no uncertain terms, the 6-11 power forward said he would be suiting up to play against his idol Tim Duncan and the rest of the reigning NBA Champions.

“I practiced the last couple days,” said Aldridge, who was on the court shooting prior to Sunday night’s game. “I did some stuff yesterday, did some things together. It feels better so I’ll be out there tomorrow.”

Aldridge not playing in Sunday night’s loss to the Grizzlies came as somewhat of a surprise, as it was not know that the four-time all-star had sprained his right thumb during the Feb. 20 loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City. Aldridge scored eight points in the first quarter of that game, but finished with just 14 points on 16 shots, perhaps due to the injury to the thumb on his shooting hand, which he said he felt instantly.

“I felt it right when I did it in the game,” said Aldridge. “That’s why I was kind of mentally out of it the last game after that happened in the second half because I was just wondering if it was something serious. It was hurting instantly and then after the game it was just swollen.”

Of course, Aldridge is already playing through a torn ligament in his left thumb, prompting Aldridge to joke with reporters at practice on Wednesday that “I don’t have any more thumbs to get rid of.” And while the injuries are obviously unrelated, the team felt it was best to take a cautious approach to the right thumb sprain, even after x-rays and MRIs came back negative.

“I think it got smacked or something in the game,” said Aldridge. “It was just pretty tender. And it was swollen, so wanted to be safe with it. I already have the one injury on one hand, I didn’t want to make this one worse. So I played it safe and I feel better now.”

The team is still being as cautious as they can with Aldridge — he only did light running and shooting during Tuesday’s practice — but after a couple of days of light duty, he’s determined to give it a go Wednesday in an important game against a team jockeying for Western Conference playoff position.

“When I first did it, it was pretty bad, so I thought it was something serious,” said Aldridge. “But now it’s not as bad anymore so I feel good about taking those days off.”

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