With LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trailblazers coming into Boston, The Oregonian posted an interesting article about the matchup: Does Garnett’s style of play, and irritation, bring out the best in Aldridge? Can I quickly dispel this and say no?
According to article, Aldridge has a list of people who really bring out the aggravation in him. Guys like A’mare Stoudemire, Kevin Love and Kendrick Perkins, all western conference foes, have had their moments versus the Blazer’s forward but one guy stands at the top: Kevin Garnett.
“…And I put KG on top, because that’s his persona, to come in and punk you. When I did that to him, it showed him that he couldn’t punk me.”
It’s all good that Aldridge feels that he can hold his own against Garnett, who is more bark than bite according to the article. Aldridge dismissively slapped Garnett in the back of the head after he was elbowed in a game back in December of 2008. He may bring “an edge” to his game but the stats prove otherwise.
Aldridge has played 10 games against the Celtics, with averages of 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent in those games. Compared to his career averages, 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 49.3 percent from the field, Aldridge struggles a bit. As far as history tells us, the Celtics, especially Garnett, play Aldridge tough. Breaking it down even further, according to NBA Stats cube, the Celtics were actually better offensively over the past two seasons against the Blazers with Aldridge on the floor. A 10 point average better.
Just because he has struggled doesn’t mean he can change the narrative. In their last meeting versus the Celtics, Aldridge scored 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting with four rebounds. He may be shooting a career worst 43.9 percent from the field but Aldridge is an All-Star caliber player and could put up numbers when he wants. With Rondo suspended for two games, and the Blazers on a three-game road losing streak, the Celtics will rely heavily on Garnett, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger to slow down Aldridge and the Blazers.