LaMarcus Aldridge: "Roy is unstoppable"
When you beat Philadelphia it was the team’s 13th win in a row. Nobody could have forecast this, especially when you went 1-9 in an earlier stretch. What has it been like?
LaMarcus Aldridge: It’s exciting. We have won all these games because we are playing team basketball and good defense.
You’re averaging nearly 18 points in a game in only your second year. Are you surprised to have developed this quickly?
LA: I am not surprised. I worked hard in the summer and the coaching staff and teammates put me in a position to look good and score. I’m not surprised and have to keep working and developing.
With Greg Oden out for the season, have you tried to take on more offensive responsibility?
LA: A little bit, but this is a team sport and the way we win games is playing as a team and making the extra pass and finding the open guy. I don’t want to do too much, but I want to be a presence down low for us.
You have only attempted one three-point field goal and you seem to play well within your limits. Is this one of your strengths?
LA: I think you have to know your limits. If you overdo it you hurt your team and have a negative affect. I try to do what I can do.
You missed five games with due to plantar fascitis and the team won all five games. How difficult was it to sit out?
LA: It was hard because they were winning and I wanted to be part of it. Overall, I feel better now so those five games paid off where I can go out now and not think of it.
Could you talk about the biggest difference between now and this time a year ago for you?
LA: I was still trying to figure out things last year, such as going to arenas and seeing how it would be and not knowing how guys would play. This year I have been to every arena and played against everybody and I’m more confident and calm.
How much did it help you playing at a quality program like the University of Texas?
LA: It gets you ready because you play against good competition. It gets you ready to play every night. It teaches you every game counts and it got me ready for the NBA.
Portland didn’t receive very favorable preseason predictions. Did you and the team look at that for any type of motivation?
LA: We don’t read articles or look at websites. We just go out and play. We just clicked and have played good defense and that is why we are winning games. We’re not winning games because people said we weren’t going to win games. That has nothing to do with it.
Your teammate Brandon Roy is one of the great young talents in the game. Could you talk about him and his game?
LA: He is unstoppable. Every time we need a bucket, he always comes through. I don’t think people know how to guard him yet because he has so many weapons that people can’t stop and he is so key to us.
What skills need work to take your game to yet another level?
LA: The low block and being more of a face-up guy and being more versatile. At times I have a habit of being a back-to-the-basket guy and I’m working on facing up and using my quickness more.
What are the Trail Blazers capable of accomplishing this year?
LA: The sky is the limit for us. We have to keep playing defense and keep playing team basketball.
You have been so effective that your name has been mentioned as a possible All-Star. What is your thought on this?
LA: I am happy to be winning. I don’t want to think of being an All-Star or any of that. All that matters is we keep winning games.
What is your biggest surprise about being in the NBA?
LA: My biggest surprise was getting my first double team this year. I didn’t think I would get double-teamed this fast. I thought it would take a full two to three years, but I have been double-teamed almost every night so that is my biggest surprise. Now I’m getting used to it and am looking to improve against the double team.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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