The Spurs Are Going Halfcrazy Over LaMarcus Aldridge

Musiq Soulchild was an artist that no one saw coming. Back in 2000 he released his first album, Aijuswanaseing, with little fanfare. Behind singles "Just Friends" and the huge hit "Love", his popularity would rise and the album would began to do well. Going into his second album, many expected a great follow up to the debut album that everyone loved. His sophomore album, titled Juslisen, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. The lead single ,"Halfcrazy", kept the level of success going for the R&B singer. The song, which spoke on a relationship with a friend that became a lover that fell apart, would rise as high as number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2002. The San Antonio Spurs were admiring LaMarcus Aldridge from afar during the 2014-2015 season. Many wondered where he would land, but the pedigree and reputation of the San Antonio Spurs won out. The Spurs saw all he could do and what he could be. The Spurs signed him to a max contract to be their big piece right next to small forward Kawhi Leonard and expected him to step into the spot vacated by Tim Duncan. While he has played solidly for the Spurs at times, he unfortunately has not been what they expected him to be and he is completely driving Spurs fans (and probably secretly coach Gregg Popovich) crazy.

When the Spurs were taking a look at the talented big man when he was in Portland, they saw someone that could definitely be effective for them. At the beginning of his career, Aldridge was a jump-shooting big man who would not post up. He has always had a solid jump shot, especially for a big man and he even expanded his range all the way out to the three-point line. But entering his last season in Portland, it seemed that he started to figure out that he needed some post game as well. Along with his shooting, Aldridge began to get more physical, punishing players with his size and strength. That combination was something that seemed to fit right in for the Spurs. They were needing a younger piece to the puzzle to transition out of the Duncan era and into the Leonard era. The Spurs were thinking that combination surrounded by shooters would be able to lead them to another title. Well, along with the Warriors very talented, the Spurs just have not gotten what they expected when it really counts from Aldridge. Although he is talented, he just has not seemed to come through when it counts for the Spurs. The most recent example of him coming up short is him being bullied by the Grizzlies (only averaged 14 points and seven rebounds) and then him disappearing in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals (only four points).

For the Spurs to go where they want to go, they are going to need more contributors than they are getting right now. Tony Parker stepped up in the Grizzlies series to help Kawhi Leonard, but as Game 1 of the Rockets series as shown, he cannot do it all by himself. The Spurs paid Aldridge to be the man alongside Leonard and now he must step up and prove himself. Having only four points when you are expected to be a main component on the team is completely unacceptable and Aldridge more than likely knows it. For him to get back involved and make some things happen, two things have to happen. The Spurs may need to downsize their lineup some, going more with Kawhi at the power forward position at times. That would allow Aldridge to play in the post against Nene or Clint Capela. But along with downsizing the lineup some, the other thing that needs to happen is Aldridge needs to get more physical. He needs to start going back down in the post more. He is basically standing and making himself a big jump-shooter and not using his size at all. For him, that is not making him look any better and for the Spurs, that is making them easier to defend.

The Spurs are down 0-1 and looked listless against the Rockets. But the good thing for them is it is only one game. The tenure of the series can change with one shot, one adjustment, only play or one player. LaMarcus has to step up and be the guy they wanted him to be instead of competing with Myers Leonard to see who can shoot the most jump shots as a big man. The Spurs need LaMarcus but can he respond under pressure is the question. So far he has disappeared under the bright lights.

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