For the past seven games, the Portland Trail Blazers have struggled their way to a 3-4 record without LaMarcus Aldridge. On Thursday night, against the Atlanta Hawks, they are returning Aldridge. They’re also hoping to turn their recent skid into a last-ditch momentum-gathering stand, before the playoffs start in a few weeks.
“I’m going,” Aldridge said after shootaround Thursday. “We’ll see how it goes, but I’m going.”
“It’s (running) still not normal but hopefully by tonight, I’ll be used to it or I’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll see what happens tonight or how I’ll look.”
Since Aldridge went out with a back injury (which was sustained in a game against the San Antonio Spurs), the Blazers haven’t looked like themselves. They’ve fallen off on both sides of the ball (offensively and defensively). Portland is hoping that Aldridge, and his 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds a game, will give their team a boost in more ways than one.
The Blazers are currently sitting in the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoff standings, five games behind the No. 4 seed Houston Rockets and only half a game ahead of the No. 6 seed Golden State Warriors.