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BRANDON: What would Wallace do?

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - LaMarcus Aldridge puts up a last-second shot that misses, as the Trail Blazers fall to Miami 108-107.Random sports thoughts and notes:

• LaMarcus Aldridge has become everything we thought a Trail Blazers power forward would be.

That power forward: Rasheed Wallace.

Wallace was supposed to be the unstoppable 4 on the low block, the perennial NBA All-Star, MVP candidate, go-through guy and 20-10-plus machine.

Aldridge has Wallace's unstoppable turnaround jumper, and more.

Wallace had his moments for the Blazers, and maybe he was cursed — good word for him — to play on teams that had a lot of talented, if some of them past their prime, players.

If only we could see Wallace in his prime with the current Blazers team.

How would Portland be faring with Wallace instead of Aldridge?

How would coach Terry Stotts have used him, and handled him?

• Aldridge's last-second miss off an inbound lob in Portland's loss to Miami was a lot tougher attempt than he normally gets, so I find it very hard to fault him for not connecting.

A better job would have been straight to the rim for a dunk or easy layup, or lay-drop, into the basket.

• The Brits have their queen and Royal Family and the Royal Box.

We have NFL owners and their entourages in their luxury suites.

Same basic idea, same incessant long-range camera shots ad nauseam during televised events.

• Say what you will about Paul Allen as the Blazers owner or the manager of people and investor.

But consider also that he is, after all, an ultimate Kickstarter who has supported many, many Northwest programs with gifts and remains a hugely valuable member of the Oregon-Washington community, especially.

Rarely a week goes by without news of some donation from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and it's worth taking a look from time to time at pgafamilyfoundation.org.

• Terrence Jones of the Houston Rockets has to be considered for the NBA Most Improved Player award.

Jones, in what could have been his senior year at Kentucky, has come from the end of the bench to starter status with a playoff-bound team.

Through Sunday, the 6-9, 250-pound power forward from Jefferson High was averaging 10.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks and shooting 50.4 percent from the field in 25.7 minutes per game — and had started 25 times in 30 appearances.

In 2012-13, as a rookie, Jones averaged 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks, shooting 45.7 percent in 14.5 minutes per game — and played in only 18 games, starting none.

He seems to have found a home at the 4 spot, whereas a lot of people thought he would make a better small forward, taking 3-pointers and using his ball-handling skills to attack the rim.

Others in the running as the season nears its halfway point include: guards Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix) and Tony Wroten (Philadelphia); forwards Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Markieff Morris (Phoenix), and Evan Turner (Philadelphia); and centers Spencer Hawes (Philadelphia) and Miles Plumlee (Phoenix).

• Interesting all-time best XI women's soccer team announced by U.S. Soccer.

A 56-member committee of soccer historians and former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the national team level voted on the team. Those casting votes included former Portland Thorns FC coach Cindy Parlow Cone and ex-Portland Pilots/U.S. star Shannon MacMillan.

The first 11:

Forwards — Mia Hamm, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach

Midfielders — Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly

Defenders — Brandi Chastain, Joy Biefeld (Fawcett), Carla Werden (Overbeck), Christie Rampone (Pearce)

Goalkeeper — Briana Scurry

Scurry drew 31 votes, and goalie runner-up Hope Solo, who was a voter, received 24.

In midfield, MacMillan was sixth and former UP standout Megan Rapinoe seventh.

Tiffeny Milbrett, also an ex-Pilots great, finished sixth among the forwards.

• The men's all-time best XI also was released this month, and ex-Pilot goalie Kasey Keller placed second with 14 votes to Brad Friedel, who got 25.