LaMarcus Aldridge good with being at heart of rebuild

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A lot of teams don’t like to use the “R” word — rebuild — because they fear it will scare off ticket buyers. Which strikes me as thinking your fans are shallow or stupid — fans of a team want hope, and they will come pay to see and cheer on young players so long as they see a future developing.

Whether the Trail Blazers want to admit it or not, they are rebuilding. They will have a lot of cap space and a couple first round draft picks this year as the roster is re-shaped in the post Greg Oden/Brandon Roy era.

But the Blazers do already have a star — LaMarcus Aldridge. One of the best young power forwards in the game. An All-Star. And those kinds of players often do not want to ride out a rebuild.

But Aldridge is good with it, he tells CSNNW.com.

“I don’t think I’ve reached my prime yet,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “So, if we get a good group of rookies in this draft, they’ll be able to gain some experience in the next couple of years and we’ll be a force a couple of years from now….

“You don’t reach your prime until you’re about 28 or 29,” Aldridge said. “I’m 26 so I got a few more years until then. If we bring in the right guys, we’ll be very good down the road.”

My guess is Blazers fans — a loyal and knowledgeable fan base — feel the same way. Changes had to be made, it was time to move on no matter how much Roy is loved.

The Blazers have a chance here. All they really need is a GM with the vision, a coach who can coach it and smart moves. That includes ownership staying out of the way of the basketball people. All that is what should make Blazers fans nervous, not simply the idea of a rebuild.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”