UPDATE: Friday, Mar. 29 at 8:35 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
The ankle injury LaMarcus Aldridge suffered against the Brooklyn Nets will force him to miss time, and CSN Northwest's Chris Haynes reports that the All-Star will not be in action tonight against the Utah Jazz:
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
#Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) will not play tonight vs Jazz. Meyers Leonard inserted into starting lineup, JJ Hickson moves to four.2013-3-30 00:32:36
---End of update---
The Blazers reported via Twitter that Aldridge was unable to finish the team’s game against the Brooklyn Nets due to the injury:
Trail Blazers PR @TrailBlazersPR
Portland F LaMarcus Aldridge (right ankle sprain) will not return.2013-3-28 04:45:33
As the New York Post’s Tim Bontemps notes, Aldridge hurt his ankle in an all-too-common way after coming down on Nets forward Reggie Evans:
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Looks like LaMarcus Aldridge went back to the locker room after hurting his foot landing on Reggie Evans' foot on a jumper.2013-3-28 03:07:45
Aldridge has continued to progress this season, and he is well on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star. He has been selected as one of the Western Conference's top players in each of the past two seasons.
This year, his 21.0 points per game leads all power forwards. He is also averaging 8.9 rebounds per game and shooting 47.7 percent from the floor.
Against Brooklyn, he racked up 24 points while going 11-of-14 from the floor before he was unable to continue. However, Portland lost 111-93.
He has a complete offensive skill set, and he is equally dangerous while in the post with his back to the basket or facing up and working his mid-range game. This has helped him form a productive partnership with rookie point guard Damian Lillard.
The Blazers are certainly going through some growing pains this season, and the loss to the Nets dropped them to 33-38 on the year. But the team is just 3.5 games back from the Los Angeles Lakers, who own the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
If Portland has any shot to make a late surge, it will need Aldridge healthy and on the floor.