LaMarcus Aldridge Wants More Touches Late in Games

by February 08, 2012

In the NBA, the highly-coveted “closer” role is usually reserved for attacking wing players and guards. But LaMarcus Aldridge would like for the Blazers to give him the rock more often with the game on the line. Per the Columbian: “The lackluster late-game performance [in Monday night’s 111-107 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder] had many wondering if Aldridge has what it takes to play the proverbial ‘closer’ role. Asked if he thought of himself that way, Aldridge responded: ‘Of course. I feel like I try to score, get to the free throw line or pass to open teammates if I get double teamed. That’s what closers do down the stretch.’ Aldridge said that he feels he does a better job this year in crunch-time situations than last season, but still needs to improve. That said, if you look at traditional closers, most are guards or small forwards who can get the ball on the perimeter and create. Aldridge, meanwhile, relies on teammates to feed him in the low post, which may make it more difficult to count on him for a shot. So is it fair to throw him into the closer role? ‘Yeah, it’s fair,’ Aldridge said. ‘They go to me all game. We can’t just change it up at the end of the game. We may have to change some of the ways we do it, but it’s definitely fair.'”