With the return of Tony Parker, the Spurs pushed past the Mavs with standout performances by LaMarcus Aldridge (33 points) and Pau Gasol (25 points) for a 115-108 win.
Achieving his best performance as a Spur, Aldridge shot 71% for 41 points and six rebounds as the Spurs outlasted a late run by the Grizzlies for a 104-95 victory.
Despite a poor free-throw shooting night (68.8%), and Danny Green struggling offensively (0-7), the Spurs managed to get a 95-79 win in Memphis.
Without Aldridge (rest), Rudy Gay (sore right heel), and Tony Parker (return from injury management), the Spurs fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 90-87.
Week in Review
Week seven of the Spurs’ 2017-18 season saw the return of Parker, who hadn’t played a game since he sustained his injury in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets back in May.
Although he was out for over six months, Parker came back looking sharp. Parker has averaged eight points and 4.3 assists per game in the three games he’s participated in. Parker didn’t play in the 90-87 loss to OKC, in which the Spurs’ supporting cast was almost able to push the game to overtime.
Although the Spurs’ backups have matured throughout the season to this point, they haven’t been able to prove they can hold their own without the leadership of Aldridge. Aldridge has been phenomenal for the Spurs averaging 23 points per game and 8.1 rebounds, but, he has not been given adequate support from any one player. The next highest scorer for the Spurs is Rudy Gay, who is performing well for his position on the roster, with an average of 12 points per game.
The struggle for the Spurs to maintain a consistent backup for Aldridge has manifested throughout various games. For example, the Spurs lost a 15-point lead against the Grizzlies at home in the fourth quarter while Aldridge and Parker sat on the bench. Without a trustworthy alternate, Aldridge will not get the rest he needs to maintain his effectiveness.
The thought of Aldridge having to carry the team for the long haul should be put to rest within the next few weeks as Kawhi Leonard’s return is expected. If Aldridge can maintain the level of intensity, while finding a balance with Leonard, the Spurs will definitely prove they are a force to be reckoned with.
As the Spurs eagerly await Leonard’s return and head into week 8, they will face the Detroit Pistons Monday, the Miami Heat Wednesday, and the Boston Celtics Friday all at home. Afterward, they head to Phoenix to face the Suns Saturday night.