All-Star Debate: Aldridge v. West

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – All this chatter about Blake Griffin and Kevin Love deserving spots on the Western Conference All-Star team has overshadowed two other power forwards playing All-Star caliber basketball on teams with winning records.

Trail Blazers’ big man LaMarcus Aldridge and Hornets’ ace David West have both waged All-Star campaigns without the aid of outsiders, opting for the on-the-court grind that isn’t always appreciated the way it should be. Neither Aldridge nor West is piling up the flashy metrics that Griffin and Love are this season. But shouldn’t there be some weight given for being a major factor on a playoff team?

A fifth-year pro, Aldridge has been forced to carry the Blazers with All-Star guard Brandon Roy sidelined after surgery on both knees. He’s averaging career highs in points (21.1) and rebounds (8.8) while keeping the Blazers afloat (25-21 and 8th in the Western Conference standings) during yet another tumultuous, injury-plagued season. Even Aldridge is playing with a bruised hip. And as more than a few Portland fans have mentioned, Aldridge has more than held his own against both Griffin and Love in head-to-head matchups this season. In fact, he’s been dominant at times against both.

The Blazers are 6-0 against the Clippers and Timberwolves this season and Aldridge has record double doubles in all but two of those games. He had 28 points and eight rebounds to Griffin’s 20 and 18 in a 108-93 defeat of the Clippers last Saturday and fouled out with just four points and five rebounds in a 100-91 win over the Clippers on Dec. 5.

He’s dropped 36 and 10 on Love and the Timberwolves in their first meeting, Dec. 17, worked them for 28-10 on Jan. 7 and pounded them for a career-high 37 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in a 113-102 win over the Timberwolves on Jan. 17.

If head-to-head counts for anything, Aldridge would appear to have the edge over both guys.

The choice between Aldridge and West, however, could prove to be one of the toughest ones the Western Conference coaches (who choose the All-Star reserves) have to make. Do you take a player having an excellent season on a solid, playoff team or do you take a previous All-Star posting solid numbers on one of the league’s top eight teams?

And we’re probably not doing West proper justice. He isn’t just posting solid numbers (19.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and1.1 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line) on a good team. Those are robust numbers for a team that sits among the top three in the rugged Western Conference.

What West lacks in slick numbers he more than makes up for in clutch work on a fantastic team, and the fact that he’s one of the main cogs for one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

West has played five games against Aldridge, Griffin and Love this season and the Hornets are 3-2 in those games with West averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists in two games (1-1) against the Clippers, 16 points and six rebounds in two games (2-0) against the Blazers. He finished with 23 points, four rebounds and three assists in a loss to the Timberwolves.

“Grouping the four of those guys together and trying to pick the one or two that are the most deserving of those reserve spots is nearly impossible,” a veteran scout friend said. “It’s hard to ignore what West is doing on a team that not many people expected to compete at the level they have this season. He’s also the only one of the bunch whose numbers are impacted by the fact he’s playing with a point guard in Chris Paul who dictates all of the action on his team. But Aldridge deserves a lot of credit for what he’s doing under those circumstances. Everyone knows that he’s Portland’s only real go-to-guy these days. That’s an entirely different set of pressure than what those other guys are dealing with. I don’t know how you make that choice and do right by all those guys.”

Eh, we don’t have to worry about that. The coaches are the ones charged with the responsibility of making sure the most deserving player makes it to Los Angeles next month for All-Star Weekend.

But while we wait, we’ll put it to our own vote here at the hideout.

61 Comments

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  3. Ray Mitchell says:

    Aldridge been had a better game and iq than West . Just didn’t get that much touches like West, Griffin, Stoudamire, and Gasol . When he gets the ball in the post he’s one of the most dangerous forwards to guard in the NBA . West is a quality player but LA gets my vote because he’s been carrying my injury-depleted blazers .

  4. Coachshine says:

    Monta needs to be an all star!!! I do not see how people like Duncan, Nash, and Parker should go ahead of him?

    Sure, Duncan and Parker have the best record in the league, and Manu will probably go from San Antonio, but these players are not putting up CLOSE to the numbers that Monta is putting up! If it wasnt for Monta, the Warriors would probably have about 10 wins. They are still in the “hunt” for the playoffs fighting for the 8 seed, so the team doesnt stink.
    Nash is not putting up the type of numbers that Monta is either, yet since him, Duncan, and Parker are perrenial all stars, they automatically get a higher priority.

    We need to put players who desserve to be all stars in the all star game … Its an ALL STAR game, not a BEST TEAM game. Point said, put the best players in the game … and Monta is one of them!!!

  5. awesomeman says:

    Screw it, make the All Star game 60 minutes with 15 minute quarters,

    then put in Gasol, Duncan, Nene, Dirk, Randolph, Love, Griffin, West, and Aldridge.

    add (with the same guards already) Kidd, Eric Gordon, Kevin Martin and maybe like Michael Beasley.

    But eh. Just an idea. The league has so much talent now, at its best in a long time.

  6. Chelle says:

    I am for L.A. all the way… And not just because I am a biased Blazer fan (I do have quarter season tix to the games though) I have great respect for great players and great teams; Blazers or otherwise.. and that includes players like West. He is good. However, it’s been amazing to watch Aldridge develop and become a truly versatile player. I’m sure he would be an even better Forward if he had only to play that position and develop that position. While it’s true his versatility makes him a better well-rounded player, it’s going to be nice to someday get a healthy team for him to play amongst once again. Last night’s game against the Spurs was awesome – and even if he hadn’t obtained his career-high in points in this game, I’d still be saying this was a game that showed his ability. Imagine him when he’s a veteran! L-Train comin’ thru… Rip City

  7. Andy says:

    Aldridge gets in hands down. Aldridge gets his numbers with the whole entire defense geared towards stopping him. When you game-plan against Portland, you talk about stopping LMA, when you game-plan against NO, you don’t think about stopping West, you stop CP3.

    • Chelle says:

      I agree!! It’s almost funny to watch a game where L.A. gets double and triple-teamed… and he’ll do that shoulder-butting thing and that awesome fake and still get a basket through all those defenders. Every opposing team knows they gotta stop L.A.

  8. […] touched on this topic last week with our All-Star Debate between Aldridge and David West of the Hornets. But it might need to be reiterated again this morning, in light of what happened last night in […]

  9. Ali says:

    Send LA to LA. LaMarcus Aldridge deserves to be in LA for the allstar game. He is almost averging a double double and is leading his to team to a winning record without its captain Brandon Roy who is a 3 time allstar!

    SEND LA 2 LA!

  10. Devin says:

    D. WEST…
    U have to be kidding me to think he shouldnt get it… You guys are sayin he has CP3 but last year with out Chris In 40 something games he was our go to guy and he was puttin the same numbers up… He is consistence and REALLY UNDERRATED… D. WEST IS A BETTER FORWARD AND HE;S GETTING BUCKETS ON A DEFENSIVE TEAM…

  11. no david west says:

    aldridge can humiliate that dwest all the time every time they will face on the floor.dont be a fool guys.aldridge deserves it he carry blazers dis season.

  12. no david west says:

    aldridge can humiliate that dwest all the time every time they face on the floor.dont be a fool guys.aldridge deserves it he carry blazers dis season.

  13. Rafael says:

    What’s up with you Sekou?

    Make it easy guys: Gasol-Duncan-Nowitzki-Love-Griffin-Randolph>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>West-Aldridge

    My 7 reserves: Gasol-Duncan; Nowitzki-Griffin; Williams-Westbrook; Love

  14. Bren/AF says:

    LaMarcus Aldridge all the way. With all of the injuries this team face with from-game-to-game. Portland is where the amazing happen. LABRYANT…you stated…”what he has done as a player to be All Stars,” and “given to the guy on what he has done in the past, not the present.” Forgive me for living for the future and not the past. LaMarcus has proven that he is an All-Star. He has restyled his game to become a team player/leader. Duncan’s past playing should not be a factor. West is surround with a healthy some what team. CP3 performing well. West has not been a benchmark to his team.

  15. Aile Jefferson Laporre Montecillo says:

    hey wat about Zach Randolph???????.

  16. hakone says:

    gasol deserve to be an starter!

  17. CJ says:

    You’ve gotta be kidding me…. if Kevin Love doesn’t get the nod he deserves then something is wrong with the National Basketball Association. He leads the league in double-doubles and rebounds per game, is 16th in points per game, and had a 31pt-31reb performance…. what else does a guy need to do? Sure the Timber”pups” always seem to lose their games late, but the guy has been doing everything he can to get them there, just needs a big-time player who can take over the fourth quarter.
    No disrespect to West and Aldridge, but it shouldn’t be based on how good your team is, but the best overall players in the league and K-Love is for sure one of the TOP!

  18. Fabio says:

    Tim Duncan???
    What happened with Nene ?
    We voted for nothing??

    This is a joke with the fans………………………

  19. David says:

    Both are deserving, but I think DWest should get the nod. People argue that he has Chris Paul to help him, but that should make his numbers go down. Aldridge is scoring 2 more points per game and 1 more board per game, and he is the MAIN guy! Gets the ball in every possession. Is the focus of the offense. No doubt that DWest gets his touches, but that offense is run through CP3, who will get the ball to whoever is open. Don’t forget about defense, which is why Love gets left out. His metrics are great, but he plays ZERO defense. West on the other hand is probably the most improved defensive player this season. Averages more than a block a game, plays both on the perimeter and down low for the best defensive team in the league, He guards Bigs, Centers, Wings – all positions – and makes clutch plays in clutch situations. Example 1: Game 10, vs. Dallas at home, Hornets up by 1. He is guarding Dirk Nowitski chest to chest 3 feet beyond the 3 point line. Dirk goes left, Dwest steals the ball, Hornets win. That’s why West should go – He’s the best and most versatile defender of the four (Aldridge, Griffin, and definitely Love)

    • Finn says:

      no aldridge shut down blake griffin and brook lopez in the games he played against them and he was the go to guy on offence
      (aldridge only guarded brrok lopez for a short time)

  20. AlexG says:

    Tim Duncan should start for Yaou MIng on Center, rather than Pau Gasol of West All Stars…

  21. Ariel_1 says:

    If Stoudamire is in, no way Aldridge wont be there. These two guys almost have the same stats. and stoudamire is even starting

    • Charles says:

      different conference and Stoudamire is a true star, shouldering more of a load (more people in NYC than Rip City) and he has better numbers.

  22. Alex N. says:

    Send LA 2 LA. He’s leading the Blazers to W’s Without BRoy, Oden, Camby, Pendergraph (PF who tore his ACL in the Preseason then was Waived). No disrespect to Dwest, but if NO was missing 4 big men, and Cp3 I don’t think he could lead them to W’s. Let’s go Blazers!

  23. Henrik Jensen says:

    I’d say, vote for West if any of them, it is so tough in West This year, lets say 5 Forwards will go into The Game maybe 6, okay; Durant and Melo as Starters, right? 3-4 Left
    Then we have; Kevin Love, Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, Rudy Gay, Dirk, Blake Griffin.

    Which of these 3-4 Players would you choose to leave out for Either West or Aldridge to go in??

    I’d say none of them because i see; Pau, Blake, Kevin Love and Dirk as better players this year at least.
    + Having Tim Duncan a i don’t know how many times All-Star and 2 times Season MVP?? he gets a hell lot of probs from the coaches always which is hard for a player like West or Aldridge to compete with, if it was me, i would vote the players with highest stats and highest Star/Highligh attentions to them. but it is the coaches who vote, and therefore i don’t think we will se either West or Aldridge in the All-Star-Game, at least not this year, better luck next year guys ;)

  24. Red says:

    The Hornets currently have the best third best defense in the league (according to defensive rating), while the Trailblazers are 16th. If you simply go by PPG, the Hornets are first and the Blazers are 8th (tied with Atlanta). David West is currently 10th in the NBA in defensive win shares, while LA is 29th. LA is 18th in offensive win shares, West is 21st. Overall, West is responsible for the 14th most win shares of any player in the NBA, while Aldridge is 20th. West also has a better player efficiency rating (19th vs. 23rd for LA). Based on PER, these two forwards rank 8th and 9th in the Western Conference. Based on Win Shares, West rates as 4th best and Aldridge rates as 7th. They are both great players with well rounded games.

    That said, I would take West right now. Advanced stats like him better, and, while some other folks cite LA’s leadership, West’s means just as much (if not more) to the Hornets. He bought into William’s defense-first strategy in a contract year, despite the fact that it depresses his overall numbers.

    As a final note, if you adjust for pace, West drops to #5 in Win Shares. That same adjustment drops LA to #11. Their usage rates are identical (25.8), so their both carry the same load for their team’s offense. West just does it better, and plays better team defense.

    • Charles says:

      defensive win shares is a product of team basketball, not of how good a player plays defensive. It is a flawed metric.

  25. 80s90sBaller says:

    I meant centers.. the point is there are more players deserving to be All-Stars not only LA, but unfortunately this is all about publicity, popularity, politics and overall marketability.

    People should only be able to vote for players that produce and that are exciting to watch, after all it is an All Star Game which is supposed to be exciting to watch!!

    Maybe the players should be filtered out by coaches first or something like that, then get the public voting. Look at all of the wasted votes on Yao, I’m not saying Yao is not deserving, I think he has the most TALENT of today’s Centers when healthy but the point is, he is not fit to play, so the votes are just wasted.

    • Charles says:

      Definitely does not have the most talent. Yao could never out rebound Dwight Howard in a playoff game, He could n’t out block him, he couldn’t out defend him. Nene can out block Yao Ming and has more defensive talent. Andrew Bynum same thing, and he can shoot just about as good as Yao. Yao is not the most talented center even when healthy, he’s a top 5 center when healthy but most talented is almost laughable, the tallest yes, there something you can stand by.

  26. Jen says:

    I would have to vote for LaMarcus Aldridge…. you take him off that team and they would be fighting Minnesota for the worse record in the west. Plus he is the only player on the Blazers that the other teams game plan for and he still puts up 20+ points.

  27. 80s90sBaller says:

    Since you’re only talking about forwards, I’m gonna throw this into the mix, Russel Westbrook.

  28. Jon says:

    Anyone who has watched the Portland Trail Blazers would know that LaMarcus Aldridge is better than David West. LaMarcus Aldridge averages more points, rebounds, steals, and slightly more blocks. David West has the edge in assist by 0.2, and only has a slightly better shooting percentage. They both share an excellent mid-range game for PF. This almost evens them out, but you have to add to the equation the fact that David West has Chris Paul, while LaMarcus Aldridge lost the best passer on his team, Brandon Roy. David West might have improved slightly, but LaMarcus Aldridge has completely changed his game, from being a finesse shooter to a dominant big man. I respect David West’s game, though

  29. […] What do you think? Is he going to be an All Star? • All-Star Debate: Aldridge vs. West – NBA.com • Will Aldridge Make The All-Star Team? – I Am A Trail Blazers Fan […]

  30. lance Broussard says:

    what you all fail to realize is that d west was putting up better numbers when cp3 was hurt last year he was averaging more points last year and he did put the team on his back he doesn’t just have a midrange game but also a hand full of moves in the post there is a reason he’s a 2 time all-star already plus his defensive intensity has risen this year……D west= ALL STAR

    • BNM says:

      ” west was putting up better numbers when cp3 was hurt last year he was averaging more points last year and he did put the team on his back”

      West averaged exactly the same PPG last season as this season (19.0 PPG in both cases).

      And yeah, he put the team on his back last year and carried them right into the lottery with a record of 8 games UNDER 0.500.

      This year, with Oden, Roy and now Camby all out with knee surgeries, Aldridge is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals and has carried his team to a record of 4 games OVER 0.500.

      And that’s the difference between Aldridge and West. With David West carrying his team, the Hornets are in the lottery. With LaMarcus Aldridge carrying his team, the Blazers are in the playoffs.

    • Charles says:

      Last year is last year, this is this year, the all-stars aren’t based on what they did last year.

  31. Ben says:

    Possibly both.

    Gasol and Duncan should slot in as starting/reserve centres, leaving three more spots open.

    I’d give those three to Nowitzki, West & Aldridge. No offence to Blake Griffin, who I’d love to see play this game, and want to watch probably more than all of the three others. But if you are picking on who is having the biggest impact on getting W’s for their teams, then those 3 are the guys.

    Whoever said haveing CP3 would up Aldridge’s stats obviously hasn’t watched teams like the Celtics, or for that matter New Orleans or Portland last year (respectively without Paul and with Roy). Extra options frequently means worse stats. West is key to New Orleans success, and I would have him ahead of Aldridge because Portland are not quite as successful. If someone had to drop off for Griffin, I’d lose Aldridge.

  32. what says:

    NENE is da mannn, too much underated

  33. Sean says:

    You are clowning if you think David West isnt the obvious choice. People don’t think west because they never see the hornets on tv and because they tag all of his accomplishments on cp. Sorry but David West is the offense, he is the go to guy. He has one of the best mid range jumpers in the game if not the best. David is all star all the way, duncans on the downside of his career and u saw what happened to him in the hive in new orleans he sucked ACE. Dwest for all star and the coaches should be wise enough to see that, thank god the fans arent the ones choosing this. Put a mediocre guy on a terrible team and he will get all the stats because hes the only one with mild talent (aldridge.) Dwest is stuntin on one of the best teams in the NBA i know nobody wants to admit to that because its the Hornets but you might as well educate yourself so you don’t sound foolish when they tearing through the playoffs hornets 10-0 hot streak right now NBA fans eat your hearts out. HORNETS and David West 4 life!

    • devon says:

      Sean your an idiot lol. Watch the blazers. The nba always talks about them having talent deep. The probably is not enough spots. west just gets feeds from cp3 which is what gets him open and frees him up. Aldridge is banging more then him, Has a better all around game, and is more of a leader. If you watched LA youd see that he has a pure mid range shot as well. Nash makes people better, and cp3 makes west better then he really is. LA all the way!!!

    • Alex says:

      Please People!!! Anyone with an acceptable basketball IQ can see that what LaMarcus Aldridge is doing in Portland is far and above the most worthy of an All Star nod. David West has basically been the same player for the past four years with no other dimmensions really added to his game. If Chris Paul is in the mood to win, the Hornets do well, and West gets numbers simply be being on the court at the same time. LaMarcus completely revamped his game and actually changed his body and mindset to dominate the paint, and now he is excecuting his plan. LA to LA all the way!

      ps. New Orleans can thank Portland for Monte Williams

  34. Gary says:

    Neither. They’re both great but need a lil more star power.

  35. Behemot says:

    LA deserves to be on ASG. Griffin’s and Love’s teams suck. This should be decisive, not the highlights on Top10.

    • Nat says:

      ^^ Thank you for pointing out that it’s not all about the highlights, even though Aldridge has had some jaw-dropping alley oops this season. Aldridge is the overall better power forward and therefore better player to send to the All-Star Game. He is carrying Portland and playing his best basketball, getting in the paint and going hard instead of his slick jump shot. He has become the number 1 guy for the Blazers, unlike West who has Chris Paul to help him out.

    • Charles says:

      So you would rather have LA than BG on your team??? Really?

  36. Mike says:

    send la to la

  37. LABRYANT says:

    THE problem with the West is that there are alot of forwards who deserve to be All Stars..Love Griffin Odom West…i love Duncan for what he has done as a player but theres no way hes having a better season then the names i mentioned above..granted his Spurs have the best record but this is kind of like the Gold Glove winner in Basesball…giving it to the guy on what he has done in the past not the present…Cant wait for sundays Laker Celtic game….

  38. Brazilian Hornet says:

    Gotta be kiddin me!!

    aldridge is playin better basketball than d-west?? no way!!

    it’s easy to put up good numbers in a weak team like portland, especially after roy’s knees bailed on him… the hornets are a defensive team, and the go-to guy on the offensive end has been west, and he’s responded with 52% of success from the field… west is so good that you hardly see him shoot poorly or score 30 points in a night and then go for 1-11, like i’ve already seen a few times aldridge go… and west’s been playing despite a torn ankle that’s bothering him for a little while… I mean, aldridge is good, and has been carrying th load for the blazers sicne roy’s been takn down by his knees, but west is a level above him

    WEST IS AN ALL-STAR!!!

    • Player32323232 says:

      Dude, LaMarcus will smash David West anyday. West is a greta player. But he has Chris Paul to carry the team. Aldridge has put his team on his back and is doing a dandy job at it. Sorry, but Aldridge is the clear choice.

    • BNM says:

      “score 30 points in a night and then go for 1-11, like i’ve already seen a few times aldridge go”

      You’ve seen no such thing. You’re just making things up to support your biased opinion. Aldridge’s worst shooting night of the season is 2-10. So, is Davi’d West’s. Aldridge also has a couple 4-14 nights and West has a 3-11 and several 5-14 games.

      And, the Blazers aren’t a bad team. Even with all of their injuries (Rpy, Oden, Camby, etc.) the Blazers are 4 games over 0.500 and currently 8th in the very strong Western Conference. Since Brandon Roy went down, Aldridge has absolutely carried his team and kept them winning. For the month of January, Aldridge has averaged 25.5 PPG, 9.9 RPG and 2.7 APG on 0.506 shooting. West has averaged 19.3 PPG, 8.4 PPG and 2.8 APG on 0.510 shooting.

      West is a very good role player on an excellent team. Aldridge is THE leader on a team that has been decimated by injuries. Without Aldridge, the Blazers are in the lottery and would be one of the worst teams in the NBA. Without West, the Hornets still make the play-offs. West is a steady producer, but Aldridge has stepped up his game and carried his team. He is more deserving of being an all-star than West.

    • Charles says:

      What is the deal with people hating on players who are superior on losing teams? yeah the team turns to them more for points, but that cause they have to, and it ain’t like the other teams don’t know that if take them away they’ll win. the fact that Love and Griffin are also doing it on the boards makes them superior to Aldridge and West. It shows they have passion for the game and they want the ball, not just to score, but to help their team score. I can’t say the same for Aldridge and West, I ahve seen too many games with them taking ridiculous shots and giving no effort on the defensive end, that’s called selfish basketball. At least crash the boards, you’e freaking 6’10 and 6’11.

      As for Alridge over West, yes, because he is the offensive focal point of his team, which means he gets more defensive pressure than West and still produces points at a higher rate/game. West does not impress on the defensive end neither. So the comparison between the two should remain strictly offensive. Which may be splitting hairs as they have similar games, but again since LaMarcus does not have CP3 or anyone significantly better than him, I give him the edge.

  39. trix says:

    simple…west has cp3 while aldridge is doing this with roy out so he should get the nod

  40. fayaman says:

    This one is easy. Aldridge is putting up the same if not slightly better numbers without Chris Paul as a team mate. You add CP3 to the Blazers and Aldridge stats go up significantly. You have to give it to Aldridge

  41. jay says:

    i say lamarcus aldridge. he is doin it all with all of the injuries the blazers have. West has chris paul and omeka okafor. aldridge is more deserving