Watching the Rockets game tonight and having Aldridge on my fantasy team got me thinking, is he the best PF in the L today?
First off, the Blazers have the best record in the stacked West. Secondly, he's averaging 23-10 with great shooting %s and solid defense.
He really seems to have no holes in his game. He just blew up for 31-25 and is averaging 26-14 in the last 5 games.
Each PF seems to have a glaring weakness. Griffin struggles creating for himself and isn't a good defender. Kevin Love can't seem to make his teammates better and plays no defense. Pau Gasol is getting older, slower, and his overall production has declined. Tim Duncan is saving his best for the playoffs.
Is Aldridge the best PF?
In one word... yes
Aldridge has raised his game to a new level that I've been waiting for for 2-3 years as a Blazer fan. he solidified himself as an All-Star, but never as a star player like he has this year.
It doesn't seem like that big of a jump to me at least. He averaged 21&9 on 18 shots last year and 21&8 on 17 shots the year before. This year hes averaging 23&10 on 20 shots seems pretty even production if you account for 50% shooting on 2 more shots. I would say the reason why Aldridge is getting new recognition is because his team is better and hes winning now not because of a jump in play.
As a Blazer fan, trust me it's not the numbers that show his improvement. It's his newfound leadership and willingness to put the team on his back. Before, it was questionable if Aldridge could really lead a team anywhere. Even I was skeptical. But this year he's shown a more killer instinct. He said at the beginning of this season that it was time for him to step up and take command and he has.
Aldridge has been playing very well this year, and he deserves all star consideration.
That said, I'll still take Kevin Love over him 10 times out of 10.
-Love's PER is 26.36, Aldridge's 23.88
-Love is out rebounding Aldridge by almost 4 a game, and that's one of the (if not the) most important skills for a PF. He's the best pure rebounder in the NBA by a mile.
-Love can hit it consistently from 3 (he hits 2 per game this year at a 35% clip, down from his usual. Aldridge does not shoot 3's- he likes long 2's, though.
-Love shoots better from the FT line (Love's a career 81.5% with almost 2 more attempts per game than Aldridge (78.5%))
- While career-wise they're relatively close on a per-game basis, Love gets more assists than Aldridge this season (Love 4.2, Aldridge 2.7)
-Love plays underrated D. Just because he can't block shots doesn't mean he's not doing the other things. He is probably the best in the NBA in carving out position in the low block for the board, he plays good help defense and makes good rotations, he plays decent man defense.
As for the "not making teammates better" argument...Aldridge has been able to play with (nearly elite) Brandon Roy, Nic Batum, Damian Lillard, the underrated Wes Mathews, etc. MUCH better talent. Love's most talented teammates in that span? Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic. While Love's been in Minny, the Wolves have STARTED guys like: DARKO, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Ryan Hollins, Jonny Flynn, Wes Johnson, Corey Brewer, Greg Stiemsema, Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, Malcom Lee, Luke Ridnour...I could go on. The supporting casts on the Wolves have been historically bad (there's a story on the SB Nation blog Canis Hoopus that I can't find at the moment to show just how bad statistically Love's supporting casts have been.) Aldridge has had much better talent to play with than Love has.
Aldridge has been having a very good year, and definitely deserves a reserve spot on the all star team. That said, on some nights he may not even be the best player on his team- Lillard is a teammate that is relatively close to his level. Love has been better though, and is in MVP consideration despite the Wolves being mediocre.
I'd say you can't go wrong with either Love or Aldridge, and I add to the list Anthony Davis. They have been the best 3 PF in the league this season. Love is not that bad on D, he has limited athleticism and doesn't block shots, but I wouldn't say he doesn't play defense at all. Also, his team last year was bad without him, while they went close to the playoffs two years ago and they have a chance this year (they started well, then had a slump but they're .500 and had a tough schedule). Oh, and by the way with Love on the floor the Twolves are outscoring opponents by 8.4 points per 100 possessions; without him opponents outscore them by 14.4 points per 100 possessions!!! Their assist ratio with Love is 17.7, without him 13.7. True shooting percentage goes from 55.3% to 43.6%. Those numbers are impressive.
I agree that Griffin's not on the same level anyways.
You'd take Kevin Love over LaMarcus Aldridge 10/10? You're being a homer to the fullest extent.
Love is a monster rebounder and is the best in the league, but Aldridge is rebounding the ball great this year. He's currently ranked 5th in the NBA. He's had two 30 point and 20 rebound games this season. Love has the edge here (like he does over everyone in the NBA), but Aldridge is rebounding at an elite level.
Love is a three-point shooting big man and Aldridge is not, however Love is only shooting 35% on 6 attempts per game. It's not like he's shooting great this season, but we do all know Love is a great shooter based on what he's done in his career. You failed to mention one of Aldridge's strengths through. Like how he shoots better than Love damn near everywhere inside of the three-point line. Aldridge is a consistent mid-range shooter, amongst the best at his position, while Love shoots worse than Blake Griffin inside the three-point line.
Let's just not even really compare free-throw percentage, because Aldridge is an 80% free-throw shooter. Love is currently shooting 83%. Big deal. Assists wise, Love is having a career year, but it's not like those assists are coming in a half-court set while he's drawing double teams in the post. Whether Aldridge gets the asisst or not, he makes his teammates better because you have to double him in the post. He makes the right play majority of the time even if that leads to an assist or not. Aldridge is a legit go-to option and you can run an offense through him. He makes the game easier for everyone who's on the floor with him.
Use the eye test. Aldridge is a complete guy at the offense end. His IQ has improved significantly. When the double comes from the right, he turns to his fadeaway jumper over the left shoulder or dropsteps left. When the double comes from the left, he goes hard to the right. The dude is a beast. And defensively, he's always where he's supposed to be and defends his man very well. For you to say Love is an "underrated" defender is a joke. He's still doing the same things he's always done. He's not consistently where he's supposed to be and he's still turning his head on the ball.
People always says what Love would lead his team to if they were healthy. Well so far everyone's been healthy and they're just a .500 team at the moment. The Blazers are 19-4 and are the best in the West with a healthy squad and Aldridge leading them.
I'm not a wolves fan but I'd say KLove over Aldridge 10 times out of 10 also. Aldridge is a soft PF. Not a very good rebounder for 6-11 and I'd argue he's a worse defender than Love is. And that's on top of the fact that all of Kevin Loves offensive numbers are better than Aldridges. And I think the point about love not playing with great talent around him is evident this year more so than ever because he's got Kevin Martin with him now and he's averaging over 4+ assists. He's a good passer. He just has guys finishing plays for him now. With that said, they are both really really good. All the other teams would rather have either of those guys.
Im on my phone at the moment, but if you go onto basketballreference.com, you can check out Aldridge and Love's advanced metrics, and you'll find that Love's advanced metrics also back that he is a better PF than LMA, in addition to the stats I posted and the eye test. I wasn't trying to knock LMA; by all means he is kicking ass and taking names this year. Even if I weren't a homer (which is probably true, haha), I would still take Love over LMA.
I don't think anyone is upset you would take Love over Aldridge, but the way you said it wasn't optimal. Taking him 10/10 times, pretending Kevin Love is a good defender while downplaying Aldridge was a little ridiculous. Kevin Love may be the best rebounder in the NBA but you are kidding yourself if you think it's by a country mile. Andre Drummond has been the most impressive rebounder this year statistically (tied with Love for total rebounds per 48, blows all the top rebounders away in terms of contested rebounds grabbed, easily the best offensive rebounder in the league). Not to mention the T-Wolves are just as talented this year if not more so than the Blazers and the Blazers are the #1 seed in West while the Wolves are #10.
While I do think metric stats are valuable, I take them with a grain of salt. I did go to basketballreference.com and came across the stat that in 13 head to head matchups, Aldridge is 11-2 vs Love. While bball is a team game, you do have to factor that in.
In those 13 games, Aldridge is averaging 21 points on 51% FG, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block and Love is averaging 18 points on 44% FG, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 0 blocks. Aldridge has had games of 36 and 10 and 37 and 12, while Love has had a monster game of 42 and 10.
I'm not saying Aldridge is in a league of his own or anything, but I just think it's crazy for you to say you'd take Love 10/10 over him.
When does AD take the top PF position? He was pretty damn close before his injury. I know his team hasn't had the success of Portland but he means a lot to every win they do get, he is usually the best player on his team even when they lose and he certainly makes his teammates better. 18.8 PG, 10.2 RPG, 3.6 BPG, 1.6 SPG while shooting 50% from the field and 85% from the free throw line is pretty amazing for a 20 year old.
When he can get a fairly talented Hornets team into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely, given that he isn't on the Hornets.
I'll never understand this logic. A player is capable of being the best at his position in the league without being on a good team. MJ was the best SG in the league from the time he entered the league, the Bulls would have a losing record until his fourth year in the league. Would you have honestly considered Sidney Moncrief and Rolando Blackman the best shooting guards in the league back then?
Yeah, and anyways, Anthony Davis has one of the worst supporting casts in the Western Conference. There is a little talent on the Pelicans, but none of it meshes. Without multiple trades, the Pelicans aren't going to become more than a late-seeded playoff team. They have only two good frontcourt players who don't fit together well on defense , and Jrue Holiday is a in the bottom half of pgs in the West. He puts up decent stats, but is too much of a one-on-one player. Davis can't turn the Pelicans into a true contender all by himself.
MJ averaged 28 ppg as a rookie and in his 2nd year broke the record for points in playoff game against a stacked Celtics team. Seriously look at his rookie season stats. I don't think the situations are comparable at all. Not to mention despite the losing record, those teams still made the postseason. If you can't make the playoffs, you can't be the best player at your position, unless that position is super weak.
It is a team game, so yes you can be the best player at your position and not make the playoffs. All it takes is a whole bunch of bad guys on your team.
It just doesn't make sense to put some sort of arbitrary limit where I guy needs to drag a bunch of stiff into the playoffs or else he has some sort of limit to how high he can be ranked. Not winning games is certainly a factor to look at, but it isn't everything.
Pelicans are a very good example. A Davis can be the best player in the league, but if the Pelicans role Austin Rivers and his sub 40% FG% out for 35 minutes a night, that team isn't going to win.
Right now if I had a guarantee at a healthy season from the PFs in the league, I would take Love first, A. Davis second, Aldrige third, Duncan fourth, Griffin fifth. (Actually, I would take Lebron or KD first and put them in at PF over all of these guys, but I'm assuming I'm not allowed to do that here.)
Not to mention despite the losing record, those teams still made the postseason. If you can't make the playoffs, you can't be the best player at your position, unless that position is super weak.
Cmon that's a stretch. At least the Pelicans are over .500 right now. It's one thing to criticize Davis for his team's performance but to criticize him because of how good the rest of the Western Conference is, is ridiculous. The simple truth is that the Bulls record with MJ his first few years in the league was not as good as the Pelicans this year, regardless of whether or not those losing records got them into the playoffs in an Eastern Conference with no depth.
Davis is second in the league in PER (behind only Lebron) and fifth in the league in win shares (behind only CP3, Lebron, KD and Paul George). If Kevin Love can be in the conversation for best PF in the league there is no good reason why Davis cannot.
New Orleans is 11-10. With Davis they are 8-8 and without him they are 3-2. Obviously a small sample size but I think you get the point. Not to mention I don't consider Kevin Love the best PF.
Aldridge is the best PF I've seen in the game this season.
Love is the best rebounder in the game, clearly no debating, but Aldridge brings a more well-rounded game IMO. I feel that Aldridge has really grown alot as a defender this season and he has a good mind for being in the right spots and he contests everything. He didnt use to bring alot to that end of the floor, and now that he has, the Blazers are among the best teams in the NBA. Not to mention that Aldridge is a better player inside the arc skill wise. He makes no mistakes in the post and he has one of the absolute best shooting touches in the game. Not to mention the fact that he's rebounding out of his mind when he previously was a decent rebounder at best. And he's a good passer, and always has been. He's getting better and he's making his teammates better, and utilizing the talented players he has around him. I think Aldridge has really made a case as the best PF in the NBA right now. But Love is not even close to being far off, considering his ability to rebound, stretch and hit jumpers and make good passes. But he's still not the most devoted defender and the TWolves arent winning the way they should considering their pieces.