San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge should shoot more threes
By Andrew Ites
San Antonio Spurs superstar LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off of an incredible All-NBA season, but he could take his game to another level with the addition of the three-point shot.
With Kawhi Leonard on the sideline for most of the year, LaMarcus Aldridge proved he could be the go-to guy on a playoff team as he led the San Antonio Spurs to a 47-35 record and made his fifth All-NBA team.
He had a career-high true shooting percentage of 57% last year along with a 25.0 player efficiency rating, which was also a career-best.
It will obviously be difficult to top that level of efficiency as Aldridge heads into this season as a 33-year-old, but extending his shooting range could make him even more dangerous on the offensive end.
Aldridge didn’t shoot many threes last season with 1.2 attempts per game, and he struggled when he did launch from deep (29.3%). However, that is an improvement from his first season in San Antonio where he didn’t make a single three-pointer.
Aldridge has shown the ability to get hot from deep on a small volume of shots as he made 23-of-56 three-point attempts in 2016-17 (41.1%) and 37-of-105 in 2014-15 (35.2%).
He’s been one of the league’s best midrange shooters for his entire career, but Aldridge has been unable to extend that range beyond the three-point line.
Aldridge says he wants that to change this season as he plans on taking more three-pointers this year:
“I put in a lot of time, feeling more comfortable with it,” Aldridge said. “I probably feel as comfortable as I did my last year in Portland (2014-15 season). That’s when I shot the most in my career.”
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The addition of DeMar DeRozan will take much of the scoring load off of Aldridge’s shoulders, but one or both of them will likely have to extend their range as their used to doing most of their damage in the midrange.
Both DeRozan and Aldridge were likely putting in plenty of hours with Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland this season who has turned many non-shooters into three-point threats during his illustrious career.
Aldridge clearly still wants to improve at this point in his career, and that’s a sign of his incredible work ethic that Gregg Popovich praised endlessly last season.
There seems to be only one hole in Aldridge’s offensive game, and I think adding a more lethal three-point shot could help him be more efficient than ever this season.