It doesn't live up to Stephen Curry's long-range pursuit of Ray Allen's three-pointers made record or Chris Paul stomping on Magic John's record for consecutive double-doubles of points and assists to start a season, but LaMarcus Aldridge is pursuing a record that nobody knew ever existed until he began chasing it. The mid-range jumper is a lost art, however Aldridge is a hardwood tomb raider. As more coaches and front offices embrace hoops analytics, corner threes, attempts in the restricted are more coveted and transition buckets have taken precedence as more efficient points. Aldridge isn't just chasing any record. He's chasing the only single-season record of relevance set by Michael Jordan in a Wizards uniform.
According to NBA.com, Aldridge has made 46.4% of his 150 midrange jumpers so far this season, so at least he's efficient. However, the sheer volume of his makes thus far has been astounding.
'@aldridge_12 has made 70 mid-range jumpers this year, 26 more than any other player in the league. He's shooting 46.1% from that distance.— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) November 21, 2013
Aldridge is currently averaging 12.5 midrange jacks per game. That averages out to 1,025 over the course of an 82-game season. Jordan holds the record with 1,056 jumpers launched last during the 2001-02 season. If you're looking to make sense of Portland's 10-2 start to the season, Aldridge's dividends derived from success knocking it down in space may be a great place to start. At the very least, the Trailblazers' hot start has quieted all that offseason speculation about him seeking a trade to Chicago. At least for now. Portland came roaring out of the gates last season winning seven of their first nine only to fizzle and miss the playoffs.