LaMarcus Aldridge out Indefinitely with Heart Arrhythmia

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2017

San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) runs up court during the first half in Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, May 2, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge will be out indefinitely while undergoing further evaluation for a minor heart arrhythmia.

The Spurs posted a news release Saturday on social media:

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

LaMarcus Aldridge will be out for an indefinite period due to an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia. https://t.co/s0D2Enc6RO

Losing Aldridge would be a significant blow for the Spurs as they attempt to keep pace with the Golden State Warriors in the top-heavy Western Conference.

ESPN.com's Michael C. Wright provided more information on Aldridge's situation:

Michael C. Wright @mikecwright

Not a ton of details on LaMarcus. But a source said there was an "occurrence or episode" and that his "health and safety" are No. 1 concern.

Aldridge is a proven playmaker who has earned a spot in five All-Star Games and on four All-NBA teams. In his first season with the Spurs after nine campaigns with the Portland Trail Blazers, he averaged 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. He has followed that up with 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 2016-17.

His scoring average last year, which was his lowest since 2009-10, snapped a streak of five seasons in a row with more than 21 points per contest. Part of that was a function of how deep San Antonio was, but it relied on him more in the playoffs. He posted 21.9 points per game in the postseason and helped lead the Spurs to the second round before they lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Aldridge is valuable on the glass and in the mid-range game, which opens up the offense and allows guards to run pick-and-pops, but San Antonio does have other pieces to shoulder the load until he returns.

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In the offseason, the Spurs signed Pau Gasol, a future Hall of Fame candidate who can do many of the same things as Aldridge. San Antonio also added veteran David Lee, who has on his resume eight seasons with double-digit scoring averages.

The Spurs could even go with a small-ball look if needed, with Kawhi Leonard playing a hybrid forward role.

San Antonio may have some options, but it is difficult to envision the Spurs beating the Warriors in a potential postseason showdown without Aldridge.

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