The Spurs already entered the Rodeo Road Trip short-handed, with starting guard Derrick White staying in San Antonio after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and not expected to return before the All-Star break. Now, it is being reported that LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan will sit out Wednesday’s tilt against the defending-champion Golden State Warriors for “load management” (a.k.a. rest).
This isn’t too surprising considering the Spurs have a SEGABABA the next night against the Portland Trail Blazers, and DeRozan and Aldridge have been playing a ton of minutes this season. While the Warriors game has probably been considered a scheduled loss all season, with the odds of pulling out a win getting even slimmer without White, the Portland game could have a more significant impact on the standings.
The Blazers are still catch-able at this point with just a 1.5 game lead over the Spurs (albeit with three fewer losses), and if the Spurs had to pick a game to put all their cards in it would have to be that one since they stand a better chance at a win, plus a loss would give the Blazers a 2-1 series edge with one match-up still remaining in San Antonio.
This will be the first game of the season Aldridge will miss, and it will be DeRozan’s fifth missed game of the season. They are averaging 21.2 points per game in 32.6 minutes and 21.3 points per game in 35 minutes, respectively.