LaMarcus Aldridge will be out for an indefinite period due to an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia. pic.twitter.com/s0D2Enc6RO
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 11, 2017
Aldridge had reportedly been dealing with an abnormal heartbeat, which was found in the team diagnosis. He’ll undergo further testing before the Spurs can determine how much time he’ll miss.
In his second season with San Antonio, Aldridge has been their second-best scoring option behind All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. Through 58 games, Aldridge has averaged 17.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 blocks, on 47% shooting from the field and 80% from the free-throw line.
The eleven-year forward has seen his time as one of the league’s top power forwards slip away quicker than expected. After being selected second-overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2006 NBA Draft, Aldridge was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers the same night, for Viktor Khryapa and Tyrus Thomas.
Aldridge, now 33, will be solely remembered for his nine seasons with Portland. After scoring 12,562 points and pulling down 5,434 rebounds in his tenure, Aldridge joins the likenesses of Clyde Drexler, Bill Walton, Terry Porter, Scottie Pippen, Arvydas Sabonis and many more — as the greatest players of the franchise’s 47-year history.
In the summer of 2015, Aldridge became an unrestricted free-agent. Many teams such as Phoenix, New York and Houston had strong interest, but Aldridge ultimately agreed to a four-year deal worth $84 million to join the Spurs.
In his first season with San Antonio, Aldridge’s numbers fell for obvious reasons. While being utilized in an entirely different system under Gregg Popovich, it was clear that Lamarcus had to take on a smaller role.
2014-15 (final season with Portland): 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 9.3 field-goals made, 19.9 field-goals attempted.
2015-16 (first season with San Antonio): 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.2 field-goals made, 14.1 field-goals attempted.
To clarify: Aldridge did shoot a career-high 51% from the field in 2015-16, which was his highest since the 2011-12 season.
It’s certainly a tough blow for San Antonio to lose Aldridge during this time of the year. With the five-time All-Star potentially missing significant time, the Spurs (50-14) could face a challenging stretch before the 2017 postseason. Aldridge is still one of the most skilled players in our league, because he can score in a multitude of ways.
But thankfully enough, the Spurs have a solid frontcourt rotation of Pau Gasol, Dewayne Dedmon, David Lee, Davis Bertans and Joel Anthony to fill-in for Aldridge.
And for a team currently sitting second in the Western Conference, the Spurs aren’t the only top-tier team who’s uncertain moving forward. After losing superstar forward Kevin Durant earlier in the month due to a knee-injury, conference-rival Golden State Warriors are also in an uncomfortable position. Durant will be re-evaluated before the postseason begins.
With uncanny injuries to key-players surfacing, we could see some serious changes between the top-five seeds in the West.