San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge ranks above DeRozan in top 100 List
By Andrew Ites
In a result that could be a shock to some, LaMarcus Aldridge was the highest-rated Spurs player on this year’s top 100 list from Sports Illustrated.
LaMarcus Aldridge was one of the biggest free agent signings in Spurs history, but he had a rocky start in San Antonio that led to him reportedly requesting a trade.
Fortunately Gregg Popovich and Aldridge worked everything out over dinner and some wine, and the six-time All-Star rebounded to have one of the best years of his career.
Aldridge had to become the go-to guy in the Spurs’ offense last season as Kawhi Leonard sat out for nearly the entire year, and he excelled in that role after previously playing second fiddle for the last few years.
He scored 23.1 points per game last season, which was his highest average in San Antonio, with a true shooting percentage of 57% and a player efficiency rating of 25.0.
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Aldridge proved he’s become a more well-rounded player by grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game, and he played well on the defensive end blocking 1.2 shots per night with a solid defensive real-plus minus number of +1.24.
Popovich praised Aldridge all season long for his work ethic and being a great teammate, and we hadn’t heard that from Aldridge’s coaches much during his career.
The 33-year-old’s performance earned him a spot on the All-NBA’s second team and the number 21 spot on Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney’s top 100 list.
Aldridge will likely become more of a secondary scorer next season as he plays alongside DeMar DeRozan, who was ranked below Aldridge on this list.
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Hopefully Aldridge will embrace that role once again and keep up the incredible efficiency and attitude he maintained last season. If he does, the Spurs could have a dynamic duo that would make them a contender in the Western Conference.
Check out what we think of the other Spurs ranked on this top 100 list: