This past offseason, LaMarcus Aldridge left the Portland Trail Blazers to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. It was a move that would have the Spurs prepared to win now and in the future.
In Portland, Aldridge was the number one option who always had the ball in his hands. But when a player goes to the Spurs, they have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. For the majority of the season, Aldridge was still trying to get used to constantly moving without the ball and sharing the ball a lot more.
The Improved Play of LaMarcus Aldridge
Ever since the second round of the NBA playoffs started, he has absolutely dominated against Oklahoma City. Aldridge finished with 38 points in game one and 41 points in game two of the series. While scoring at a high rate, Aldridge is also shooting the ball at a high percentage. He went a combined 33-44 in the first two games. If these two games are any indication of what is to come for Aldridge, the Spurs are in good shape to win the NBA Championship.
Aldridge has absolutely feasted on Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter. What’s made him so hard to defend is the pick and roll with Tony Parker. In both games, the majority of the shots Aldridge took were uncontested and basically practice shots. The pick and roll defense from Oklahoma City has been atrocious, and he is taking advantage of it.
Not only is Aldridge knocking down mid-range jumpers, but he is also doing great work in the post. He does a really good job of using his body to create space and be able to get a shot off. Aldridge has a very high release, which makes it tough for the defender even when they are sticking close and challenging his shot. He has also done a very good job of finishing around the basket with both hands. A lot of people probably didn’t know that Aldridge was also a great finisher with his left hand.
It finally looks like Aldridge is comfortable in a Spurs uniform. It may have taken a while, but it could not have come at a better time. With him playing so well, it has been easier for Gregg Poppovich to rest Tim Duncan. With the Spurs’ series with Oklahoma City at 1-1, they will need more games like the past two from Aldridge to advance to the conference finals.