It’s cool y’all. We’ll go 81-1!
I was just as hyped as you were to find out we got LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency. The Spurs were declared obvious winners, and obvious favorites in the season to come. As the summer wore on, I became a little skeptical and so did the NBA writership.
Tony Parker looked to have lost a step in Euro Basket. This would be a non-issue if it weren’t part of a larger negative trend in his performance. The former Future of the Franchise has clearly been surpassed by Kawhi Leonard. That KL has deserved every bit of his promotion to number one option from 3-and-D guy says as much about his ability as it does about the Tony’s.
Tony’s decline wouldn’t be such an issue if his particular set of skills weren’t such a big part of LaMarcus Aldridge’s game. He thrived on pick and pops, and on isolations. With Tony and Manu more limited, who is going to run the PNR with LMA? 1
So we are left with isolations. He had a few last night but he came up short late, when the Spurs desperately needed a score. After a miss and an OKC three, Pop went to Kawhi and he managed a three point play.
When the Spurs lose, everything will be questioned. When they win, everyone will be happy. This isn’t new, nor is it unexpected. LMA got only 12 shots last night … but he only made four of those. He wasn’t just missing shots, but just off. For an example, witness that last terrible shot from Danny Green 2. The ball fell right to LMA and he … dropped it? The only excuse I can muster for him is that he thought the ball was going to hit the rim?
Meanwhile, Kawhi was cooking. He easily had his best regular season scoring game. He is cleary the number one option because he’s the most comfortable and most effective. I expect LMA to challenge that as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
There is a line of thinking around NBA bloggers LMA made the wrong decision, that the Spurs will not be able to overcome the new changes, and that the loss of depth will be concerning. While these are all possibilities or even likelihoods, they aren’t yet evident. It really has only been one game.
Teams degrade over a season as much or more than they “gel.” Really bad sign if a team comes out the gate looking off in month 1
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) October 29, 2015
Now the question is, did the Spurs look off to you? Me either.
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1. I mean _effective_ pick and rolls. [↩](#fnref:p132157676517-2)
2. Wow. That was a glaring example of my earlier point. That was an awful use of the pick and roll. [↩](#fnref:p132157676517-1)