DALLAS – The local kid has grown up to become a matchup nightmare for the Mavericks.
LaMarcus Aldridge, the All-Star forward/center from Seagoville, has averaged 27.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in the Trail Blazers’ last eight meetings with the Mavs. Two of those games ended by Aldridge swishing game-winning buzzer-beaters, including the dagger at the end of the Mavs’ meltdown last week in Portland.
“He continues to get his offensive game more diverse,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Seven-footers who can do that don’t grow on trees.”
Aldridge can score in a lot of different ways, but his go-to move is a turnaround jumper after catching the ball on the right block and pivoting toward the baseline.
That’s the shot he knocked down to beat the Mavs last week. Brandan Wright contested the shot, but Dallas was doomed as soon as Aldridge muscled Wright to get to his sweet spot.
“He’s a great player,” Carlisle said. “Great players have a lot of spots they like on the court. We got to keep bodies on him. We got to make sure we’re blocking him off the boards and know where he is when he pick-and-pops.
“And in situations where we have to double-team, we have to scramble out because when you double-team him and he passes it out, he does a good job of finding nooks and crannies to go offensive rebound. He’s one of those really high-level players that can hurt you in a lot of different ways.”