SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives LaMarcus Aldridge

Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Who is the hardest player to defend in the NBA? Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says -- surprise, surprise -- it's Kevin Durant, calling the Oklahoma City Thunder star a taller, better version of George Gervin. Do you agree with Rivers? Where does LeBron James fall on the list? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

Hardest to Defend in NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge

Carmelo Anthony

Kobe Bryant

DeMarcus Cousins

Stephen Curry

Anthony Davis

Goran Dragic

Kevin Durant

Paul George

Blake Griffin

James Harden

Dwight Howard

Kyrie Irving

LeBron James

Al Jefferson

Damian Lillard

Kevin Love

Dirk Nowitzki

Chris Paul

John Wall

Russell Westbrook

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LaMarcus Aldridge goes off

Normally, it would be worth talking about a 32-point, 17-rebound performance from Dwight Howard, but not today. Instead, we're marveling at LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 31 points and grabbing 25 rebounds in a 111-104 win over the Rockets. Aldridge has really come into his own this season; through 23 games, he's averaging 23.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, both far above his career averages. If he keeps this up -- and the Trail Blazers remain atop the tough Western Conference -- he might be in line for the NBA's top award.

  • Is LaMarcus Aldridge a legitimate MVP candidate?

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      57%
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      43%

    Discuss (Total votes: 71,685)

  • Who is the best pure power forward in the NBA?

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      41%
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      22%
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      33%
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      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,824)

  • How far will the Trail Blazers advance this season?

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      2%
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      17%
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      48%
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      22%
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      11%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,933)

  • Which is the best team in the NBA?

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      24%
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      49%
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      4%
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      15%
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      8%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,121)

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AP Photo/Matt York

Just how good are Trail Blazers?

While their neighbors to the north were making noise in the NFL, the Portland Trail Blazers stepped up themselves Monday night, beating the previously one-loss Indiana Pacers 106-102 -- on the second night of a back-to-back. For those not paying attention, that pushes Portland to 15-3, with two of those losses, strangely, coming against the 9-8 Phoenix Suns. Are these Pacific Northwesterners legit contenders in the Western Conference?

  • Are the Trail Blazers legitimate contenders in the Western Conference?

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      69%
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      31%

    Discuss (Total votes: 57,608)

  • Who is the Blazers' best player?

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      71%
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      29%

    Discuss (Total votes: 19,392)

  • Which team will win the Northwest Division?

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      49%
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      48%
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      3%

    Discuss (Total votes: 16,398)

  • Which team will win the Western Conference?

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      6%
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      34%
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      32%
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      18%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 48,775)

  • Which of these teams will win the Eastern Conference?

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      45%
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      55%

    Discuss (Total votes: 34,969)

  • Which conference will produce the NBA champion?

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      49%
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      51%

    Discuss (Total votes: 15,444)

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Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images

NBA 5-on-5: Trail Blazers

They've got reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. They've also got a potentially disgruntled LaMarcus Aldridge, and a supporting cast with as many questions as answers. Which makes one ponder: What exactly will we see from the Portland Trail Blazers this season? The NBA 5-on-5 guys had their say and now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in.

What grade would you give the Trail Blazers' offseason?

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    45%
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    43%
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    10%
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    1%
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    1%

Discuss (Total votes: 396)

  • What is the biggest question facing the Trail Blazers in 2013-14?

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      33%
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      40%
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      27%

    Discuss (Total votes: 367)

  • Who is the Blazers' most intriguing player this season?

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      29%
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      61%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 370)

  • Which of these bold predictions by the 5-on-5 panel is most likely to come true?

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      8%
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      69%
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      5%
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      9%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 347)

  • Prediction time: How far will the Blazers go this season?

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A power forward's job is to control the low block area -- they are able to play with their backs to the basket as well as step out to nail a mid-range jumper. Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are known to have that skillset. Some are also known for their ability to intimidate with powerful dunks, like Blake Griffin. Then you have the Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki types who can pretty much do it all, from inside the paint to outside the arc. How do you round out the NBA's best at the four position? NBA insider Bradford Doolittle had his say and so did the NBA 5-on-5 crew, but now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in.

Rank 'Em: Point guards | Shooting guards | Centers | NBA teams' under-25 talent

NBA Power Forwards

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge

Portland Trail Blazers
2012-13: 21.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.2 BPG

Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson

Pelicans
2012-13: 16.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.4 BPG

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Knicks
2012-13: 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.6 APG

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Pelicans
2012-13: 13.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.8 BPG

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan

Spurs
2012-13: 17.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.7 BPG

Kenneth Faried

Kenneth Faried

Nuggets
2012-13: 11.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.0 APG

Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors

Jazz
2012-13: 9.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.7 APG

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

Nets
2012-13: 14.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 0.9 BPG

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

Lakers
2012-13: 13.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.2 BPG

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Clippers
2012-13: 18.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 0.6 BPG

Al Horford

Al Horford

Hawks
2012-13: 17.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.1 BPG

Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

Thunder
2012-13: 13.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.0 BPG

LeBron James

LeBron James

Heat
2012-13: 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG

David Lee

David Lee

Warriors
2012-13: 18.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 0.3 BPG

Kevin Love

Kevin Love

Timberwolves
2012-13: 18.3 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 0.5 BPG

Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap

Hawks
2012-13: 14.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.0 BPG

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

Mavericks
2012-13: 17.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.7 BPG

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph

Grizzlies
2012-13: 15.4 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 0.4 BPG

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Pistons
2012-13: 17.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.2 APG

David West

David West

Pacers
2012-13: 17.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 0.9 BPG

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