Duncan says he plans to ride Aldridge’s coattails

0 Comments

San Antonio landing LaMarcus Aldridge was the best move of the summer. It took brilliant cap machinations, but the Spurs not only made themselves one of the favorites to win it all next season, but they also secured the team’s future into the post Tim Duncan era.

There were some questions out there — how would Duncan and Aldridge work together? Both prefer to operate from the left block, and at last check there is only one of those on the court. They have some similarities of game. How would the two blend?

Duncan, speaking to the fantastic Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, said not to worry (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“I’m not worried about him benefiting my game; I’m going to worry about me benefiting his. I’m going to let him do his thing and just see where I can fit in and help. I’m going to ride his coattails and I’m going to push him.”

Aldridge has said he’s not worried about meshing with Duncan, so they started off agreeing on something. For me, there are two key reasons Spurs fans should not be concerned (and the rest of the NBA should be):

1) That Gregg Popovich guy is a pretty good coach. I think he’ll be able to put players in positions where they can succeed.

2) Duncan’s leadership style has always been unselfish and bending toward the practical — let’s do what works and what wins, not what’s best for my numbers. Aldridge will need to adapt to that some, but Duncan isn’t going to freak out about his numbers if Aldridge is getting more touches.

The only question anyone should have about the Spurs is health — they have the depth to keep guys fresh, but you never know. Of course, the same is true of every other contender.