LaMarcus Aldridge may be a long-shot for the Western Conference All-Star team, given the glut of talent in the west at forward.
But the Portland Trail Blazers' suddenly dominant power forward will have to clear some space on his shelf for one fresh honor. The NBA said today that Aldridge has been named the Western Conference's Player of the Week, a distinction the Blazers immediately tried to turn to Aldridge's advantage when it comes to him making the All-Star team for the first time in his five-year career.
Here's the release from the Blazers:
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Trail Blazers forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge was named the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Week, it was announced today by the NBA.
"This award shows that LaMarcus has become not just a leader for our team but one of the best players in the league," said Head Coach Nate McMillan . "He is definitely playing at an All-Star level."
Aldridge guided the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 week, including home wins against Minnesota, the L.A. Clippers and Indiana, and a road victory in Sacramento.
The fifth-year Trail Blazer wins the award for the first time in his career after averaging 28.3 points (52.3% FG, 80.8% FT), 10.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block in four starts. He led Portland in scoring and rebounding three times each.
Aldridge, 25, scored a career-high 37 points (15-24 FG) Jan. 17 vs. Minnesota. He is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 26.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 0.67 blocks in January.
Aldridge becomes the 10th Trail Blazer in team history to earn Western Conference Player of the Week honors.
Orlando's Dwight Howard was named the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Other nominees for the honor were Atlanta's Joe Johnson, Charlotte's D.J. Augustin, Denver's Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, and New Orleans' David West.