The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon for their second preseason win. How did LaMarcus Aldridge perform?
The Spurs improved to 2-1 in the preseason with a 122-100 win against the Denver Nuggets. While a meaningless preseason win is nothing to write home about, it is always nice to evaluate where a player is before the real season begins. That is the case for forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge and Danny Green were the only Spurs’ starters who took the floor against the Nuggets. Meanwhile, Denver went with what appears to be their starting five for the season of Jameer Nelson, Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler.
With no Kawhi Leonard on the floor, Aldridge was given the green light to let the offense flow through him and he delivered. He played 31 minutes and scored 21 points, shooting 56 percent from the field. He also made one three-pointer, something he has been working on in camp. Aldridge pulled in 8 rebounds, had 6 assists and a block as well.
Aldridge is a player under the microscope for San Antonio this season. After arriving in summer 2015 as one of the biggest free agent signings that offseason, the former Trailblazer struggled last season, most notably in the playoffs. Aldridge averaged 17.3 points per game in the regular season, but that dipped to 16.5 in the playoffs. The biggest disappointment from Aldridge came in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. After Leonard was hurt in Game One, Aldridge was expected to help carry the team. He failed to, only scoring 8 points in each of the last two games as the Warriors swept the Spurs and went on to win their second championship in three seasons.
While Aldridge was facing the likes of Millsap, Chandler, and Mason Plumlee on Sunday, it was good to see him put up those numbers. So far in the preseason, he is averaging 15.3 points per game, shooting 57.1 percent. Aldridge is also averaging 4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. While Aldridge may not be seeing much more playing time this preseason, it is encouraging to get a taste of what he is capable of in these exhibition games as this could be a make or break season for him.
The Spurs will take on the Orlando Magic for their next preseason game on Tuesday, Oct. 10 back at the AT&T Center.