LaMarcus Aldridge: 'This is my best season'

San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) puts up a shot against New York Knicks forward Michael Beasley (8) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in New York. The Spurs won 100-91. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

LaMarcus Aldridge was under a lot of scrutiny following the 2016-17 season for how he performed, or didn’t. There were rumblings of trading him, and of his discontentment in San Antonio.

That was then and this is now.

Aldridge now is turning the doubters into believers in his third season with San Antonio. After a talk with Gregg Popovich during the offseason, Aldridge has propelled himself into the player many thought he'd be once he left Portland.

With Kawhi Leonard sidelined for the first 20-plus games of the season, it was Aldridge's play that would come alive and steady the Spurs to one of th ebest records in the West.

Through 37 games this season, LaMarcus is averaging 22 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He is also shooting 48.9-percent from the floor and hitting 35-percent from beyond the arc.

Aldridge does feel this is his best season yet as he stated following San Antonio’s 100-91 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

“This is my best season. I am taking my shots and I am definitely more comfortable," Aldridge stated.

That was the main point that Popovich with that sit down during the offseason he stated to Aldridge and put the blame on himself. He did not let Aldridge play his game. If he just let him do so, then everything will be right.

The hustle is there, his passion is back. He is picking his spots and knocked them down at a high-rate. He is always at the ready, waiting to receive the ball from his teammates.

What makes Aldridge such a key piece for San Antonio is his presence in the paint and how he can pull his defender away from knocking down the jumper.

LaMarcus at the rim is pretty much automatic. He is hitting 75-percent in the paint. He has also stretched his game more outside to the 3-point line as he has knocked down 19-of-55 so far this season.

Compared to last season, Aldridge has increased his averages in points, rebounds and assists. It goes to show that he was willing to put in the work during the offseason and show the team that he is going to play until the final buzzer.

"I feel like I am playing my game. I feel like my teammates are looking for me," said Aldridge.

Twitter: @MichaelRehome

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