LaMarcus Aldridge Season Preview: What to expect from him
By Andre Key
What does next season look like for forward LaMarcus Aldridge and what can we expect?
The 2016-2017 season is just two months away, and it’s a significant year for the San Antonio Spurs. The retirement of Tim Duncan Spurs moves shifts the responsibility on the inside to All-
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Star big man Aldridge.
Aldridge was acquired last summer in free agency after spending nine years playing for the Portland Trailblazers.
The Spurs pursued Aldridge hard because they knew he would fit right in where Duncan left off.
There is no replacement for Duncan’s presence, but the team doesn’t need to look for anyone to fill a void. Aldridge will continue to carry his portion of the load, and consistently produce results.
Last season he started out slow citing adjusting to his new role, and being overly cautious about disturbing chemistry.
Aldridge ultimately settled in, and gave us a preview of what next season will look like.
Aldridge finished last season averaging 18.0 points,
Apr 30, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
8.5 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game as he helped lead the Spurs to a franchise high 67 wins and a historical 40-1 record at the AT&T center in San Antonio.
Next season, look for him to become no less than a 20 points 10 rebounds per game player. It’s just the next step in his progression.
His pick and pop skills will be the perfect fit for Spurs basketball.
Tony Parker will also have the luxury and freedom to defer to a big who can shoot.
Being comfortable with the team, and a designated go to scorer, he can assert himself early without worrying about fitting in.
Pau Gasol who has a similar skillset as Aldridge in the elbow and post areas also have the ability and IQ to take some of the pressure off of Aldridge.
Gasol is smart and knows how to work well with his teammates. His presence will offer easy buckets that weren’t available last year, because teams didn’t have to worry about Duncan as much offensively.
Aldridge is versatile enough to keep defenses guessing on most nights, and when he gets hot, his jumper and post moves puts him in the discussion with some of the best big men in the league.
Aldridge will gain at least two more points, 2 more assists, and a block more than last season. Those are less generous numbers because he has the talent to produce more and most likely will. Giving him a slight bump in averages doesn’t sound like much but, it would mean a much bigger headache for opposing teams.
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Expectations for next season is, Aldridge will be improved, voted into the All Star Game, and will help the Spurs win between 55-60 by the end of the season.