What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Timberwolves
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Kevin Love
The Trail Blazers finish a four games in five nights road trip Wednesday in Minneapolis against the Timberwolves. Portland enters the contest with the best record in the NBA at 22-4 and a five-game winning streak, so there will be plenty at stake when they tipoff at the Target Center.
But also up for grabs is the title of Best Power Forward In the NBA, with Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge and Minnesota's Kevin Love meeting for the first time this season. There has been a simmering, albeit friendly, rivalry between the two for years and that shows no signs of abating as both enter the prime years of their respective careers on up-and-coming teams battling in the Northwest Division.
Neither Aldridge nor Love is likely to make it onto the Western Conference All-Star roster by virtue of the fan vote, meaning that, while it's inconsequential compared to the final result, Wednesday's head-to-head between the two best power forwards in the NBA could help decide which one will be spending Valentine's Day weekend in New Orleans.
• Won Western Conference Player of the Week honors for the second-consecutive week with averages of 25.5 points (53.8 FG%), 14.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 blocked shot in wins at Utah, vs. Houston, at Philadelphia and at Detroit last week
• 31-point, 25-rebound game vs. Houston on Dec. 12 marked a career high in rebounds for Aldridge, who became the first Trail Blazer in franchise history to log a 30-point, 25-rebound game and the first to do so in the NBA since the 2010-11 season
• Is ranked eighth in scoring at 23.6 points per game, fifth in rebounding 11.0 boards per game and sixth in double-doubles this season with 15
• Grew up in Oregon and played his high school ball at Lake Oswego High School before playing one season at UCLA
• Has recorded a double-double in all but three of Minnesota's games this season and leads the NBA in double-doubles with 22
• Is first in the NBA in rebounding with 13.6 per game and is fourth in scoring at 25.0 points per game