Early in his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t always comfortable. Gregg Popovich tried to incorporate Aldridge into the Spurs’ offense, rather than gearing the Spurs’ offense around what Aldridge does well. Eventually Pop realized that he should just play to his player’s strengths, and now the entire Spurs machine is centered on what Aldridge does best.
What Aldridge does best is post up on the left block. That’s where he lives, and that’s where he eats. It’s wildly difficult to stop Aldridge there, because he’s got so many different moves and counter-moves when the Spurs get him the ball in that spot. Theyalso have a variety of different ways of actually get Aldridge into that position, so even when you know it’s coming, it’s difficult to stop him from getting to his hot spot.
Against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, Aldridge dropped a career-high 56 points, with many of them coming on one of those left-block post-ups. But the Spurs, knowing that the Thunder would be geared up for those plays, also leveraged the attention they draw in order to open things up elsewhere.
In this edition of Last Night, In Basketball, we dig into exactly how the Spurs used Aldridge’s prowess on the left block to [ahem] spur their monster offensive performance.
Last Night, In Basketball is a video breakdown series from the basketball mind of Jared Dubin. You can see the videos for free on Twitter and YouTube, but if you enjoy the work and want to see more, you can pledge your support on Patreon.