But they’ll have to do it without LaMarcus Aldridge.
LaMarcus Aldridge underwent an arthroscopic subacromial decompression and rotator cuff debridement on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season. The successful procedure was performed by Dr. Daniel Cooper in Dallas, Texas on April 24.
Aldridge injured his shoulder at Utah on Feb. 21. After playing at Oklahoma City on Feb. 23, he missed the next six games rehabbing before returning to score 24 points in San Antonio’s win against Dallas on March 10. The next day the NBA suspended game play on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The seven-time All-Star is expected to be fully cleared for all basketball activities prior to Spurs training camp to start the 2020-21 season.
Why is this just getting disclosed now? Aldridge had this surgery 45 days ago. While embracing gambling, the NBA has increased emphasis on transparency. This delayed announcement flies in the face of that.
It also dampers San Antonio’s chances during the NBA’s restart at Disney World.
At 12th in the Western Conference, the Spurs already faced long odds of advancing to the postseason. They’d have to jump three of the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings then win two play-in games against the eighth-place team before dropping one.
Jakob Poeltl should be healthy enough to step in at center. He’s a versatile defender who can rebound and score inside. But neither he nor DeMar DeRozan shoot 3-pointers, which really clogs spacing. San Antonio hit its stride this season once Aldridge began hoisting from deep while Poeltl played less with DeRozan.
Whatever frustrations DeRozan holds with the Spurs, this situation is ripe to exacerbate them.
Both the downside and bright side: It’ll probably be for just eight games.