Wednesday , Mar , 14 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Aldridge, Jack, Randolph and Roy give Blazers a solid nucleus

(Sports Network) – Forward Zach Randolph, rookie LaMarcus Aldridge and
Brandon Roy and point guard Jarrett Jack give Portland a solid foundation for
what looks to be a very bright future.

Randolph leads the Trail Blazers in scoring (23.6 ppg) and rebounding
(10.1 rpg), while Jack, who is averaging 12.5 points in just his second year
in the league, has dished out a team-best 5.5 assists per game.

Roy, who is the leading candidate to take home NBA Rookie of the Year honors,
is averaging 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season. The
Washington product has scored in double-digits in five straight games and is
averaging 18.0 points and 6.6 assists in that span.

Aldridge is starting to come into his own. The Texas product is averaging 8.0
points and 4.5 rebounds this season. The 6-11 Aldridge has posted 15.6 points
and 9.2 boards per contest in his last five outings.

The youthful Trail Blazers (26-37) are still alive in the Western Conference
playoff race. They are three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the
eighth and final playoff berth.

The Central Division-leading Detroit Pistons play the fourth of a five-game
road trip when they visit the Trail Blazers on Wednesday at the Rose Garden.
It is the second and final meeting of the campaign between the clubs. On
December 5th, Zach Randolph drained a go-ahead short bank shot over Tayshaun
Prince with 21 ticks left as Portland stunned Detroit, 88-85, at The Palace of
Auburn Hills.

Detroit has won three straight after losing its last three at Portland.

Portland tries to bounce back from a tough loss against Detroit. On Tuesday,
Allen Iverson poured in 31 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out 10
assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 107-99 victory over the Trail Blazers
at the Pepsi Center.

Randolph tallied 26 points and Aldridge ended with 24 points and 17 boards for
the Blazers, who lost for the third time in four contests overall. Roy had 16
points before fouling out, and Jack contributed 13 points and nine assists in
defeat.

The Trail Blazers are 15-17 at home this season. They are scheduled to visit
the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at the Staples Center. Portland is 2-0
against the Lakers this season.

POR