It's a brand-new day in Portland.
Their leader in unquestionably power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is having a career year and has climbed onto many basketball pundits' shortlist for NBA MVP, including Bleacher Report's Josh Martin:
So far, Aldridge has answered the bell and established himself as arguably the West's best forward. That in itself should give him good enough marks to be considered a bona fide MVP prospect.
According to the Trail Blazers' official website, Aldridge is enjoying his time as the No. 1 option in Portland:
Some fans outside of the Pacific Northwest might not remember Aldridge's "Robin" years; the power forward has been a second (or third) wheel on three Blazers playoff teams in his career.
Portland made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons: 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. In fact, three of the five Blazers starters—Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews—played on Portland's last playoff team.
At the time, Portland's Batman was Brandon Roy, the electric shooting guard who made three consecutive All-Star teams between 2007 and 2010. After center Greg Oden was selected in the 2007 NBA draft, Aldridge was expected to be the third option on an up-and-coming Blazers club featuring Roy and Oden.
Unfortunately, injuries to Roy and Oden derailed that potential Portland juggernaut. Roy is out of the league after a brief comeback attempt with Minnesota in 2012-13, and Oden is currently trying to resurrect his career as a bench player for the Miami Heat.
If anything, Aldridge's statement is a bit odd given that he has been the Blazers' best player since Roy's knee problems derailed his career in the 2009-10 season. Aldridge was the top scorer—both regular season and playoffs—on the Blazers' 2010-11 team.
So this is not Aldridge's first season as Portland's Batman. But now he has an upgraded utility belt, Batmobile and Bat Cave.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.
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