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San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge’s case for All-NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 2: A close up shot of LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs smiling before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 2, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 2: A close up shot of LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs smiling before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 2, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)

LaMarcus Aldridge is the only member of the San Antonio Spurs with a legitimate chance at making All-NBA this year. Let’s examine his credentials for that honor.

DeMar DeRozan has had a solid first year with the San Antonio Spurs, but it’s been LaMarcus Aldridge who has primarily led this team to a better record than many predicted this season.

Aldridge’s All-NBA buzz was awakened yet again when he torched the Celtics for 48 points on 20-for-31 shooting with 13 rebounds and 6 assists in a comfortable 19-point victory, which was one of the Spurs’ best road wins of the season.

The forward position will be very competitive on this year’s All-NBA ballot, and Aldridge is unlikely to make All-NBA as a center with Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Karl-Anthony Towns all having incredible seasons.

But Aldridge’s mix of consistency and spectacular play has him squarely in the All-NBA conversation with just a few weeks of regular season basketball left.

Let’s check out how Aldridge stacks up in the three major categories that are normally used to determine All-NBA.

Next: Box Score Numbers

ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 6: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on March 6, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 6: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on March 6, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Box Score Numbers

LaMarcus Aldridge has played 73 of San Antonio’s 74 games this year, which has helped him climb to the top of the total stats leaderboards.

Aldridge is 2nd in 2-point field goals, 10th in offensive rebounds, 14th in minutes played, 14th in total points, 16th in total rebounds, and 16th in blocks.

Aldridge has been red-hot during the month of March with 24.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in 11 contests, including that explosion in Boston.

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He has managed to score 20+ points per game again this season without utilizing the three-point shot with only 35 attempts from deep this year, and Aldridge is putting up the second-highest assist per game numbers of his career.

LMA’s career-high 1.3 blocks per game ranks in the top 20 this season, helping him fill out the entire stat sheet night after night.

Next: Advanced Stats

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 24: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs is guarded by Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 24, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – MARCH 24: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs is guarded by Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 24, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Advanced Stats

Aldridge is also putting up some incredibly impressive advanced numbers this year.

His true shooting percentage of 57.7% is a career high, and it’s a fantastic number considering Aldridge’s profile of difficult and relatively inefficient shots.

The former Texas Longhorn also boasts a player efficiency rating of 22.7, ranks 16th in the league with 5.6 offensive win shares, and he’s currently 19th in total win shares with 8.1.

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He’s also done a great job of getting to the line with a free throw rate of 31.3%, which is the second-highest rate of his career.

It’s awe-inspiring that Aldridge can continue to carry this large of a load on a successful team at nearly 34 years old, and he’s doing it with some of the best effiency numbers of his decorated career.

Next: Team Success

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 2: A close up shot of LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs smiling before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 2: A close up shot of LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs smiling before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)

Team Success

More from Air Alamo

Expectations for the San Antonio Spurs were relatively low this season with Vegas setting their season win total at 44.5 in most places.

Those expectations were lowered even further when Dejounte Murray went down with a season-ending knee injury in early October.

San Antonio is set to exceed expectations yet again this season with 43 wins under their belt with eight games remaining, and LaMarcus Aldridge’s performance has been a major reason why.

While DeRozan has been inconsistent at times this season and missed five games due to injury, LaMarcus has remained steady all year long and he’s playing his best basketball as the Spurs make a push for a top-four seed.

Aldridge has been getting it done on both ends of the floor this year, which has him firmly in the All-NBA conversation.

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Next. Three ways that LaMarcus Aldridge emulates Tim Duncan

If LaMarcus can continue this stellar month of March and finish the season with a strong April, he could be named to his sixth All-NBA team.

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