Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs are included in the NBA's 22-team restart that will kick off near the end of July, but they will be forced to make their charge towards the postseason without the services of star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Spurs announced that Aldridge underwent surgery on his right shoulder, which will end his 2019-20 season after just 53 games.
All told, it effectively ends the team's season, too.
While Aldridge did not make an All-Star team for the fourth time as a Spur, he once again put together a solid campaign, posting 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in his age 34 season. As one of the few teams that still runs a good chunk of its offense through the low post, Aldridge was San Antonio's most effective weapon for scoring inside.
The Spurs knew for some time that Aldridge's season was done, as he underwent the surgery on April 24. It'll be up to DeMar DeRozan and a motley crew of tertiary scorers to carry the Spurs into thee playoffs, a daunting objective given their 12th-place positioning out West, four games back of the eighth and final playoff seed.
The Spurs were already lacking guys who can create their own shot on offense, and losing one of the best inside-outside big men in the game doesn't bode well for their chances in the postseason once basketball finally restarts.