Without two of the San Antonio Spurs’ biggest names, General Manager RC Buford praised the team coming together, specifically praising LaMarcus Aldridge.
When Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were both down and out, this led to LaMarcus Aldridge taking on a larger role for the San Antonio Spurs. He played second fiddle in his first two seasons for the Silver and Black, never fitting in and, because of it, voicing his displeasure in the offseason.
Things changed in the 2017-18 season, with Aldridge arguably playing better than he did in the previous two seasons. His numbers have approached the Portland Trail Blazer levels, along with taking on a leadership role.
In a piece by ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, it highlighted how the Spurs coped without Parker and Leonard, the latter of whom remains out with a quad injury. Spurs General Manager RC Buford provided one of the quotes, praising how the team came together and the work of Aldridge and Pau Gasol:
“The team’s done a terrific job of coming together. A lot of new players,” Buford told ESPN. “I think Pau [Gasol] and LaMarcus have obviously been significant and the contributions of other guys who have filled in and come together well. We’re obviously not the best team in the league. But the group has taken care of its responsibilities in a way that puts them in a position to win.
This same piece included head coach Gregg Popovich’s quote about Aldridge’s work from earlier in the week.
Without Aldridge’s rise in production, one must wonder how the Spurs would look, entering Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Would they be worse than the current 13-7 record?
Either way, this team remains one of the best, record-wise, in the Western Conference. Even without their star player. It’s not just the work of Aldridge, but Gasol, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson and others. They rose to the occasion in the “next man up” fashion, starting what could be another successful season in the Alamo City.
When Leonard returns, of course, things will change. For now, this current incarnation of the Spurs will stay intact, before taking on the Grizzlies at home.