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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is LaMarcus Aldridge too tired?

The Blazers have to beat the Dallas Mavericks twice -- in Portland tomorrow and in Dallas on Saturday -- or their season is over. In their last game the other night, Portland was flat as a pancake, and some folks remarked that the Blazers' best player, forward LaMarcus Aldridge, looked fatigued. He scored only 12 points and didn't get to the foul line.

Well, he ought to be fatigued. He's played on average 43 minutes a game in the five games of the playoffs so far. There are only 48 minutes in a game, and so that means he has sat out only five minutes per contest. In Portland's dramatic Game 4 win last weekend, Aldridge rested only 1 minute and 12 seconds of the game.

During the regular season, he played in 81 of the team's 82 games, averaging 39.6 minutes per game of playing time. He is second in the league in minutes played this year, and after tomorrow night he will likely be first. In contrast, Dallas's Dirk Nowitzki plays only 34.3 minutes a game, and he isn't anywhere in the top 20.

Aldridge is 25 years old and has been playing pro hoops for five years. In our view, he's been overplayed by coach Nate McMillan, and sometimes it hurts the team as well as Aldridge himself.

Comments (3)

I'd put a fork in the season, and I'm not just saying that as a Mavericks fan. Very seriously, if the Blazers are running him that hard, that says a lot about the rest of the team. It might be better to start fresh next year, get a new coach, and then beat the Mavs like a redheaded stepchild.

We just signed Nate for another two years. Aldridge is under contract through 2015.

"Sleep, or lack thereof, is a big problem in the NBA, where players spend half of their season on the road while being asked to perform at the absolute peak of their abilities sometime after 10 p.m. before shutting it off completely and hitting the sack in a foreign hotel room just a few hours later. Players have to go piecemeal with their rest, often sneaking snoozes in during hotel stays in the afternoon, shuffled in-between team shootarounds or public appearances scheduled by people who only obey the 9-to-5 call."

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