The Spurs faced their biggest game of the young season so far with one of their two All-Stars on ice.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who started in the middle of the team’s first three games, suffered a pain in his left knee against defending NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
« He’s got a sore knee, » said Popovich. « It’s nothing torn or torn or anything. ”
The 35-year-old Aldridge is slowly starting his 15th with an average of 12 points and 4 points. NBA campaign. 3 rebounds and 1. 3 blocks during recording 41. 2 percent.
He had a four-point night behind him on Sunday in New Orleans on the second night of a duel. Aldridge only played 20 minutes in this competition.
« (The knee) swelled a little on him, » said Popovich. « So early in the season, after that, we don’t take the risk of putting it in a worse position. « . ”
Aldridge’s absence meant the first start of the season for Jakob Poeltl, who returned to the Spurs for three years with $ 27 million before the start of the training camp.
25-year-old Poeltl played his part in this contract at the NBA reboot games in Orlando, Florida. , in August. With Aldridge for the restart, this time after shoulder surgery, Poeltl started eight games and impressed the Spurs with his ongoing energy.
Poeltl on average 8. 3 points, 8. 1 rebounds and 1. 4 blocks and announced a pair of doubles doubles in the Spurs Bubble games last summer.
Lakers trainer Frank Vogel admitted that the unavailability of Aldridge would change his team’s schedule a little, but urged his team not to relax when it came to his replacement.
« More minutes for Poeltl mean more energy, » said Vogel. « He’s one of the best energy guys in the game. He’s an active scooter, a rebounder, a tough guy. ”
The NBA’s health and safety protocols have dampened the Spurs’ team bonding drills for the time being.
Including preseason, the Spurs have been on road trips to Houston, Memphis, and New Orleans this season, but have yet to call up on one of the trademarked team field trips that Popovich has often used to spark team chemistry.
« Quite simply, the virus comes first, » said Popovich. “Safety comes first. It is basically impossible to do something in a group and go to another place and let everything be controlled. ”
Vogel said the Lakers are canceling shootarounds for the time being because of virus logs.
Players must return a negative COVID-19 rapid test on the morning of match days. City-to-city unpredictability of how quickly these tests could be processed has led Vogel to remove the added complication of the morning run off his team’s agenda.
« We didn’t have a shootaround because there is still uncertainty about the turnaround time when we are out in these cities, » said Vogel. « This is something we will continue to navigate. ”
For Popovich, COVID logs mean he’ll hope his team find ways to connect in the gym on the watch rather than outside.
« We’ll stay on the conservative side and just crouch down and try to develop the same camaraderie as best we can in the exercise situation in the exercise facility, » said Popovich. « It’s certainly not ideal. ”
Jeff McDonald began covering the Spurs for the San Antonio Express News in September 2007, three months after the team’s fourth championship.
Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James, NBA
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