LaMarcus Aldridge signed a 4-year, $80 million contract with the option after the 3rd year, with the Spurs. Aldridge had been the main man in Portland, and was one of the most important building blocks for the reshaping of the Blazers. He also became Portland’s 2nd all-time leading scorer, trailing only their legendary G Clyde Drexler.
Then the Spurs went out and made this great pick up. Adding him to a team that was already a consistent winner, taking him from out of Portland. The way it looked, winning it all, just wasn’t going to happen up in Portland. That’s the brutal truth.
He has averaged over 20ppg in each of the last 5 seasons. This last season finishing with a career best 23ppg also adding 10rpg in 71 starts. The thought of a player like Lamarcus trying to get a championship for himself by winning it in Portland, would’ve been great. He was the obvious first true star, they had in many years. But, after 9 years in the league, Aldridge, never got a chance to get passed the 2nd round of playoffs. I always felt he was always underappreciated in Portland because of upstart G Damian Lillard.
Aldridge, is a big man in the game who can score very well. In the playoffs, he always showed up but couldn’t get them moving. LaMarcus is straight money, especially when he gets himself on the low block, he absolutely demands a double team or it’s lights out. With career averages of 19ppg and 8rpg. Those are numbers that are a huge reason why numerous teams coveted him, and wanted to bring him aboard. The Lakers, Heat, Phoenix, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and the Rockets all had interest in him.
But the San Antonio Spurs landed him. They were already a 55 win team without Aldridge, they are a team that has their share of established stars, but age is creeping up on them. Obviously we know a team has to have others around as well, no one has ever won a championship on their own, without a proper supporting cast.
The 4 time All Star could make the Spurs championship favorites. At least 2nd only in respect to the defending champs. Having him teamed up with the ageless wonder, Tim Duncan, they could have arguably one of the most formidable frontlines in the NBA. Granted they still have to go through the tough West. Stacked up against teams like Golden State, obviously. Oklahoma City should be ready to come back around. And even the Dallas Mavericks with their changes, Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki will want to show they disagree.
Of course, the defending champs the Warriors will be, and should be the favorites. And the Clippers resigned their rebounding machine, in DeAndre Jordan, they will still be a top ended team. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are a deadly combo, then with Paul Pierce, that’s still a tough team to hang with.
Keep in mind, the Spurs won the series matchup against the Warriors last year, 2-1. Outscoring them by 17 overall. And now they just went and added more offensive firepower and a rim protector, Aldridge can handle those duties for the Spurs. They have a very serious possibility of handling the champs. With that team they almost created the perfect enemy for Golden State, take a good look at the team’s that gave the Warriors problems. The Spurs lashed them pretty well the last time they played, 107-92. That wasn’t pretty, Kawhi Leonard handled Stephen Curry, pretty well. I think if the Warriors had run into the Spurs in last years playoffs, the Spurs might have beaten them. They gave the Warriors the most problems over the last several years.
Duncan is going to play less minutes during the season to make sure he’s ready for the playoffs. This is now Aldridge’s, and Leonard’s team. Tony Parker will still have his number of games where he will get his. But overall, this team just got that much better, in a hiccup. Tony Parker is getting old as well, and is becoming more and more injury prone, and the bench isn’t strong as it had been in the past. So this adds tremendous upside.
Duncan, we know, is an old, aging player who only averaged only 14ppg this last season. Leonard is not a top end scorer yet. he’s average, at best, but he needs to be put in the position as the 2nd option. The Spurs are an older team, that needs to make a power move like this. This move is something that suddenly can rejuvenate this team. Fans who think this team is too old and done, are going to be frustrated again. They just continue to build championship teams, each and every year.
With a lineup with Aldridge, Duncan, Parker, Green, and Leonard, they are going to give teams a lot of problems. This was a great move for the Spurs. The Texas road trips going through Dallas, San Antonio & Houston will be brutally hard. There will likely be at least 4 teams in the West, that could be better than the top team in the East. This off season could not have possibly gone any better for the franchise. Aldridge and Leonard will keep the Spurs among the NBA’s best for years to come. More importantly, for the past 5 years there’s been this sense of impending doom and uncertainty waiting for the Spurs heading into the post Duncan era. That has been lifted with the solid core of Kawhi, Aldridge, and Danny Green to build around now.
Spurs are a very good organization and it’d be pretty special to see the “Big Fundamental” get another ring on his way out. The Spurs are an institution of what I love about basketball, they are complete. They are a team, first and foremost, always. San Antonio, grabbed a great player to carry on the winning tradition after Duncan retires.
As long as he plays with their style of play, he will fit in perfectly. The Spurs are going to be scary good this season, Tim Duncan will likely move over to center, so Aldridge to play at the PF, where he is made to play. This could also even mean that Duncan would be willing to re-sign for a couple more years, who knows? Timmy now has that chance to go out with yet one more championship. The NBA should be concerned.
Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com