Feb 8, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forwardLaMarcus Aldridge
(12) reacts after a play during the first quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The era of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili leading the San Antonio Spurs is over. They will have to step down as the Spurs have added LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency and Kawhi Leonard is rising.
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Aldridge is coming off a year in which he averaged 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. The 30-year old superstar is the only player in the league to average at least 23 points and 10 rebounds in consecutive seasons.
There are many reasons to believe that Aldridge will be the Spurs go-to guy. Offensively he is the best player on the Spurs without question. He dominates with his midrange jumper and craftiness inside. Unlike any Spurs player, he is capable of going for 30 points any given night.
Many people believe that Leonard is the face of the franchise and he is. One can still be a franchise player without leading the team on offense. An example of this is when Parker would lead the Spurs in scoring for the season, but most knew that Duncan was their franchise player.
Leonard is an improving scorer, as he showed last year when he improved at scoring in the post and off the dribble. But he is nowhere near the scorer that Aldridge is at this stage. He is a lockdown defender that can score 15-2o points.
Last season, Leonard took strides as he averaged a career high 16.5 points. It’s not out of the question that Leonard scores 20 a game this season, but a heavy portion will likely come in layups as he cuts or open perimeter shots.
Leonard is the franchise player as he is only 24-years old, but Aldridge is their bucket getter.