Subaru Key Matchups of the Night
Posted by r1zzo23 on July 6, 2007
Getting excited for the game tonight? Yeah, me too. So to keep myself under control, I’m looking to breakdown the best matchups we can see in the game tonight.
Key Matchup #1: Lamarcus Aldridge vs. Leon Powe
6’11” Height 6’9″
240 Weight 240
F/C Position PF
Both of these players were highly productive players in their final season’s in college and were both selected in last year’s draft. Aldridge was eventually the #2 overall selection by the Bulls, but then quickly traded to Portland for the rights of Tyrus Thomas. Leon Powe, however, had to wait much longer to hear his name called on draft night. The Celtics traded back into the 2006 draft by obtaining the Nuggets’ 2nd round pick and took Leon Powe, who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds his final year at Cal, with the 49th pick. Aldridge became a starter late last season while Powe played spot minutes.
Aldridge is obviously the better player overall, but I think that Powe can hold his own against Lamarcus, especially in a summer league game. Aldridge does have the height advantage as well as the wingspan in his favor, but Leon Powe has just got that desire and passion to rip down every rebound and grab every loose ball, which makes him so valuable to this team. Numbers wise, I can see Leon Powe out-producing Aldridge tonight, but I don’t expect Aldridge to play all that many minutes. I’m hoping these two get to play each other straight up tonight because I really think it could be a nice start to the summer league.
Key Matchup #2: Martell Webster vs. Gerald Green
6’7″ Height 6’8″
210 Weight 200
G/F Position SF
This could very easily be the most intriguing matchup of the game. Both these players were selected in the 2005 draft (Webster at #6, Green at #18). These were two of the highly touted high school phenoms coming into the draft and to be brutally honest, neither has contributed much at all to their respective team. The Blazers are re-tooling, so it may be do-or-die this year for Martell Webster as he could be quickly replaced on the roster. Gerald Green doesn’t have any young guns coming in to take his spot, but he’s going to struggle to log quality minutes consistently with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on the team.
Both Webster and Green are good long-range shooters and both know how to put on a show at the rim. Gerald Green is definitely the better player at this point in his career, coming off a season where he averaged a career high 10.4 points on 42% shooting from the floor. Webster scored 7 points a night, but his FG% was under 40% (that’s almost Adam Morrison territory!). The summer league is perhaps the best chance for these two potential all-stars to show that they are ready for that 3rd season leap (Al Jefferson did it last year).
For the Blazers, to have Webster emerge as a 15-point a night guy, that would be huge with a core of players that include Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. He would give them a legit outside shooter as well as a good slasher to build with a young nucleus. Gerald Green will be asked to do more of what he did last year, which was coming off the bench and providing instant offense. He poured in 10 a night last year, so if he could up that to 14 or 15 and become a good 6th man, he would be a great asset for the Celtics. If he could limit the production drop off between himself and either Ray Allen or Paul Pierce as well as bringing an offensive spark, Gerald will be a pivotal part to the Celtics success and chances of making the playoffs.