By Jonathan Ryan Davis
The Western Conference coaches finally got something right: they selected LaMarcus Aldridge to the 2011-12 All-Star team. After a highly publicized snub last year, where LA would have had the chance to represent his conference in front of his mother who was recovering from cancer, LA is finally an All-Star. With consistent play and a new role as the face of the Blazers, Aldridge demonstrated to the league that he's a legit star.
No longer in the shadow of Brandon Roy, LA has become one of the most complete big men in the NBA. Each year he has added a new piece to his game, and now, Aldridge is deadly from the outside, can post up from both sides of the hoop, drive left, drive right, fade left, fade right, hit the jump hook with each hand, and drive the ball strong to the hoop to finish with grace or power around the rim. Aldridge can rebound on the offensive and defensive ends. He has quick hands and feet to disrupt the passing lanes, and he has become a respectable shot blocker (as we all saw against Durant...oh wait, that was goaltending.) On a bad night, LA scores 15. On a good night he controls the game like a graceful conductor.
The best part about LaMarcus Aldridge: he still hasn't reached his peak. LA still lacks the killer instinct in the 4th quarter. He can and should be a 12 rebound a night guy. And dare I say it, he could probably become a reliable three point threat.
May this be the first of many All-Star weekends! Congrats LaMarcus, you deserve it!
PS. Let's start an Elliot Williams for the Slam Dunk Contest campaign!