But we are interested in more than Aldridge's curious replication tendencies. Despite a rabidly interested fan base he remains relatively misunderstood in Rip City. Often labeled as soft because he has a jumpshot, or derided as a mediocre rebounder even though he is among the League's elite in offensive boards, we at DeceptivelyQuick feel a call of duty to promote the truth.
In December of 2007 I was all excited and linked to this video collection of highlights featuring LaMarcus throwing all kinds of sweet passes. I was convinced that he possessed passing skills that were uncommon in a power forward. For whatever reason we didn't seem to get to see these particular talents displayed too often. He has never even averaged two assists per game, which doesn't exactly help my case.
Enter new basketball statistics. The people I steal from constantly, 82games.com, have created a different way to quantify passing skills. It starts with the classic assist to turnover ratio, which is commonly accepted as an indicator of how effectively a player can pass. Except that turnovers include all sorts of things besides passing. For example, if a player is whistled for travelling or gets the ball stolen while driving to the hoop a turnover would result. So the 82games.com geniuses started tracking something called assist: bad pass turnover. Yep, only turnovers resulting from passes are used, creating a stat that we can safely say is more related to how effectively a player passes the basketball.
Where does LaMarcus Aldridge rank in this category? Are you ready to have your mind blown? Then click here. I'll let you take that in for a second.
The Blazers power forward has the highest assist to bad pass turnover rate (7.1) in the entire NBA. This is freakish, and you need to appreciate that. There are no other power forwards or centers in the top 10. There are only three amongst the top 20. The four players immediately following Aldridge are Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Tayshaun Prince, and Jose Calderon.
LaMarcus Aldridge: Respect the game.