The San Antonio Spurs have been quietly making an impact in the NBA this season. With the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge, the Gregg Popovich squad veered away from the small ball plays and focused on their big men. That is, the former Portland Trailblazers star could be seen blending with Tim Duncan and David West this NBA season. As Aldridge tries to get his groove in the San Antonio Spurs playing style, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili are busy making an impact in the league. Meanwhile, Duncan is eagerly serving as Aldridge's mentor - a move that some could assume as a passing of the reigns of sorts.
"He was in my ear the whole first half, just saying, 'Just stay with it. Don't start getting passive. Just be patient with your shot. Keep looking for it,'" shared Aldridge, referring to the guidance provided by Duncan during crucial games, according to ESPN.
He added, "[Tim Duncan] kept staying in my ear, and I wouldn't smile," Aldridge explained. "So he was getting frustrated with me. I made a shot. I gave him a smile, and that's when he got kind of hype. But he's been nothing but positive for me this whole process. He's always been in my ear trying to tell me to be myself, be positive and it's gonna come; just be patient. So tonight, it was evident in the game that he tried to keep me positive. Then when things turned, I think he was more happy that I started playing better than I was."
While the San Antonio Spurs attempt to adjust with the addition of Aldridge, fans of the NBA community are enamored by the Golden State Warriors. With a record of 23-0, the Stephen Curry squad are making history. However, some fans believe that the San Antonio Spurs have a shot at winding up as the top team in the Western Conference this year.
"The reason the Spurs are essentially ignored is that the greatest season in NBA history currently belongs to the magnificent Golden State Warriors-a team the Spurs won't play until Jan. 25," noted Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal. He added, "The nightly Stephen Curry show has overshadowed every other NBA game, team and plot to the point that they might as well not exist. That is almost certainly OK by the Spurs. But the truth is they're the only NBA team that belongs in the same conversation as the Warriors."
The same sentiment was echoed by Eric Koreen of the National Post. The sports analyst believes that the San Antonio Spurs are well-equipped to eventually break down the defense and offense of the Klay Thompson squad. Koreen further noted that the teamwork of Aldridge and Duncan could be a key factor in the team's success.
"It is tough to envision the Warriors losing four times over the course of seven games right now, but the Spurs are the best bet to stop them," shared Koreen. He added, "With Aldridge and Duncan, they are also more equipped, at least theoretically, to try to exploit Golden State inside."