Portland’s New Big 3

2 Mar

It may not seem like it from the pic, but this could be one of the NBA's premier Big 3s: Brandon Roy (L) Gerald Wallace (Center) and LaMarcus Aldridge (R - being held back by the ref)

by Chris McCoy

Gerald Wallace to the Trailblazers is probably the most slept on trade of the year. Brandon Roy. Gerald Wallce. LaMarcus Aldridge. This could become one of the NBA’s next super powers, and beyond that, in a small market.

I know Brandon Roy has knee issues (that’s both knees if you haven’t been following along), so he’s the wildcard here, but if resting him more this year pays the dividends that they hope for the remainder of his career, watch out for this trio!

I think people undervalue Aldridge and Wallace.

Wallace is a work horse. This is a guy who was the Naismith Player of the Year (Nation’s best high school baller), declared for the draft after one year at Alabama, then had to ride the pine for three years in Sacramento before being drafted by the Bobcats in the expansion draft and being vaulted immediately into a starting position.

It seems like Wallace has been trying to prove he belongs in the league ever since. Wallace was known for his length, athleticism and versitility on his way into the NBA, and has definitely proved that being the only player in the NBA to average double digit points and rebounds, with at least one steal and one block last season.  The only other player that was close was Dwight Howard at 0.9 steals and 2.8 blocks. He’s also one of three players ever (well since they started recording blocks) to average two blocks and two steals in a single season (05-06), and at 6’7″ he’s the shortest to do so (David Robinson – 7’1″ and Hakeem Olajuwon – 7’0″).

Portland GM Rich Cho scored big in his first deal with the Blazers

The thing that stands out about Wallace is the work he’s put into his shooting – his glaring weakness coming into the league. Going into the 2001 draft, one scout put it this way, “If Wallace had a respectable jump shot, he would be a top five pick… If [he] could upgrade his shooting to a respectable level, he could develop into an All-Star. However, if his shooting remains as poor as it is now, Wallace will have to buy a Berlitz phrasebook and head over to Europe.” I respect a player that strives to improve his weaknesses, and he’s definitely done that, going from a 17.5% 3-point shooter in college (and he took almost 2 a game… no skewed numbers here, he just couldn’t shoot) to a respectable 37.1% last season; also going from a 56.8% free throw shooter in college to a career 72% free throw shooter in the league. Wallace is going to work for his no question.

Andre Miller had  a legitimate case in declaring that LaMarcus Aldridge deserved to be an All Star this year. He probably should have been there instead of Duncan to be real. He’s averaging career highs in minutes (39.8), points (22.3), rebounds (8.9), assits (2.1), steals (1.2), blocks (1.2), and free throw percentage (.787), all while carrying the Blazers on his back amist a myriad of injuries and more importantly keeping them in the playoff picture. Aldridge has been tasked with picking up the slack for Roy who inversely is averaging career lows in minutes (33), points (15.4), rebounds (2.9), assists (3), and field goal percentage (.399), all while playing just 27 of the 60 games so far this season.

So as Aldridge, a 25 year old 5th year pro, is entering his prime, complimenting his game with two All Stars has all the ingredients to become a great dish. Like I said earlier Roy is the wildcard here, on those knees his All Star days may be behind him, but if he can find a way to be highly productive on those knees, the West could be looking at one of its new powers. The Lakers are getting older and so are the Spurs. Portland, in addition to OKC, could be vaulting itself into the Western Conference’s elite for years to come with the moves they made this trade deadline.

P.S. – What happens if Greg Oden comes back and becomes a productive center? It’s gonna be trooooooooouuble, trooooooooooouble. Let’s not count on that though, lol.

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2 Responses to “Portland’s New Big 3”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. In My Own Mind… « RUN JUMP PASS - April 17, 2011

    […] upset that seemingly everyone else is picking? Portland over Dallas. Portland’s New Big 3 should be able to close out my second half sleeper in six. If Portland can steal one of the first […]

  2. Derek Fisher to Join Kobe, CP3, Durant, DRose and Others in Philippines Exhibition Tour « RUN JUMP PASS - July 19, 2011

    […] 18 NBA Players through the Landmark Sports Agency, including Iguodala, Boozer, Chris Kaman, Gerald Wallace, Eric Gordon, and Derek Fisher, has enough talented clients to make this […]

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