A little over a week ago, the NBA Board of Governors voted to see if the NBA season would resume at some point. Following that vote, it was decided the season will resume on July 31st. And under a revamped format, the San Antonio Spurs will have a chance to compete for a postseason berth. Unfortunately, they will have to do so without their top player. The player in question is LaMarcus Aldridge.
LaMarcus Aldridge had right shoulder surgery on April 24 to repair an injury he sustained back in February. As a result, the Spurs’ All-Star forward will miss the remainder of the season. The Spurs have advanced to the playoffs in each of the past 22 seasons. No, that is not a misprint. However, that streak could be in jeopardy when the season resumes.
The Spurs are currently in 12th place in the Western Conference. They trail the Memphis Grizzlies by four games for the eighth seed. Should the Spurs finish within four games of the final spot, they will need to beat the No. 8 seed twice in order to nab the final playoff berth. Having LaMarcus Aldridge in the mix would have made that task more feasible.
LaMarcus Aldridge struggled a bit during his first two with the San Antonio Spurs (2015-16 and 2016-17). Over the past two seasons, though, Aldridge has averaged at least 21 points and eight rebounds per contest. This includes a 2018-19 campaign in which he posted averages of 21.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per outing. This season LaMarcus Aldridge’s numbers dipped a bit, but his numbers were still respectable – 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. Additionally, LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range on a career-high three attempts per game.
Although LaMarcus Aldridge has never played 82 games in any season his career, he has proven to be a durable player for the most part. He has suited up at least 69 games over the past several seasons. Not only that, but Aldridge is the Spurs’ top frontcourt player. And he is one of the best mid-range shooting big men in the league.
The good news here is Aldridge is expected to be ready for the start of the 2020-21 campaign. On the other hand, being that he turns 35 next month, and his contract expires after next season, Aldridge’s long-term future with the Spurs is questionable at best.