Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs: Battle of the Bigs

SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 30 : LaMarcus Aldridge
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 30 : LaMarcus Aldridge /
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Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors will have his hands full trying to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 22.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.

In the first matchup of the year between the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 11 points and seemingly did not have much of an impact on the game, which is fitting because he averages over 24 points in wins and less than 20 in losses.

The Jazz have historically struggled in San Antonio and tonight should be no different. On the back end of a back-to-back in an arena that they consistently lose in against one of the most brilliant coaches the game has ever seen, the Jazz will have their hands full.

That being said, Derrick Favors has done surprisingly well against Aldridge over the years.

In the last three seasons, Aldridge has a single 20-point game (21 points) clear back in 2015 with Portland. Favors has a 25-point and a 26-point game that both came more recently.

One thing to keep an eye on is how he will draw Favors or Rudy Gobert out of the paint with his three-point shot. The Jazz bigs sometimes struggle against shooting bigs as it gets them away from where they can be most impactful.

In this recent article from The Washington Post, Aldridge’s MVP-caliber season is discussed at more length, but it’s definitely been impressive and the large reason why San Antonio still holds the 3rd best record in the West, despite missing Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the piece describing Aldridge’s game:

"While he is shooting more three-pointers than he has in all but one other season of his career, the Spurs have made a concerted effort to get him the ball inside. His post-ups have increased from 32 percent a year ago to 41 percent this season, per Synergy Sports tracking data, and his offensive rebounds are up to a career-best 3.4 per game, a full rebound more than last year."

If you’re unfamiliar with his game (you probably aren’t because of how long he was in the Northwest Division and we saw him play the Jazz four times per season), this clip shows some of the ways he likes to score.

Next: Utah Jazz trade rumors: Denver Nuggets eyeing Rodney Hood?

Slowing him down will be a huge key to winning.