The most surprising story of the NBA season thus far has been the outstanding play from the Portland Trail Blazers. In recent years, the Blazers have gained a reputation as one of the league’s least successful teams, often struggling to stay above a .500 win percentage.
This season, everything seems to be clicking for Portland, who are currently behind the Pacers and Spurs for the third best record in the league at 10-2. Even more impressive is the fact that they’ve won 8 straight games and are 6-1 on the road. Portland’s been powered by a strong cast, including Nicolas Batum and 2013 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, but power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been handling the bulk of the Blazers offense. LaMarcus Aldridge has been on a tear, averaging 22.5 points per game, which places him at #11 on the league’s leading scorers list. Tonight, the Trail Blazers will look to keep their momentum rolling as they play host to the 6-4 Chicago Bulls.
Things weren’t going quite as smoothly for the Portland Trail Blazers five years ago today. Although they would finish the 2008-09 season with a .659 win percentage and make a brief playoff run, the road to the postseason was a bumpy one. On November 22, 2008, Portland was 8-5 and hit the road to take on the Phoenix Suns, who were also 8-5. The Blazers were led by former point guard Brandon Roy with 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge has a solid showing with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. Despite this, the tandem of Steve Nash, Shaquille O’Neal, and Amare Stoudemire stepped up for Phoenix and rallied to a 102-92 win.
Nowadays, LaMarcus Aldridge can be spotted wearing the Nike Air Max Hyperposite, and the big man has always had a preference for Air Max cushioning. During the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Aldridge wore the Nike Air Huarache 08. Except this wasn’t the Zoom Air-equipped model available on retail shelves; LaMarcus Aldridge wore a specialized version with Air Max cushioning. Unfortunately for fans, you’ll be hard pressed to track down this customized 2008 model.