LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting less than at any time since his rookie season and his scoring average is down about 5 points per game from where it was in Portland, but Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News says the new Spur doesn’t mind at all. Aldridge knew there would be sacrifices when he signed with San Antonio last summer, but the Spurs’ 36-6 record has made them worthwhile. “We talked before he decided to come here, and he knew it wasn’t going to be like he’d had it,” said Patty Mills, an ex-Blazer who helped recruit Aldridge. “He came here for a reason.” A reduced role in the offense has been offset by an $84MM contract and the chance for Aldridge to win the first championship of his basketball career. “I’m happy,” Aldridge said. “We’re winning, so I’m happy.”
There’s more out of San Antonio:
- This season has been a difficult learning process for second-year forward Kyle Anderson, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Anderson has bounced in and out of the rotation on a talented Spurs team. He had a season-high 13 points in a win over Utah this month, but is often pulled from games by coach Gregg Popovich over missed assignments. “I never took it personal,” said Anderson. “That’s constructive criticism. I got to worry about when he’s not hard on me. That’s when I’ll start worrying, but as long as he’s hard on me, I can accept it. … I see the bigger picture. It’s not immediate gratification, it’s long-term gratification for sure, so I trust it.”
- Rookie center Boban Marjanovic was only doing what his coaches asked when he picked up his first technical foul Sunday, McDonald writes in a separate story. Marjanovic, who is regularly told to keep the ball above his shoulders on rebounds, was whistled for taunting after reacting to his follow-up dunk against Dallas. “I must keep my hands up,” Marjanovic said. “I have a big wingspan, and I am tall and I can use my hands to keep the ball high and close to the rim.”
- The Spurs tied their best-ever first half of a season by playing strong defense and not obsessing over the competition, writes Mike Monroe of the Rivard Report. “If the Warriors go 80-2, it is what it is,” said Manu Ginobili earlier this season about the only team with a better record than San Antonio.