When the Los Angeles Lakers signed Marc Gasol in Free Agency, there was some hype around the move. He returned to the team that originally drafted him back in 2007.
After a quiet first two games, Gasol showed what he can do in the third game. He had 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and four blocks, and was a force on both ends. Moreover, he managed that in just 21 minutes, becoming the first player in NBA history to record such a stat line in that time.
Despite it being just their third game together, Gasol already found a connection with LeBron James. He was able to set up the 2020 Finals MVP multiple times, creating easy chances for him to score.
Their connection reminded Lakers fans of the chemistry Gasol’s older brother Pau had with Kobe Bryant back in his playing days. LeBron also felt this way and shared a picture on his Instagram story of Kobe with Pau above a picture of him and Marc.
Later, during the press conference, LeBron praised him again. He said, “Certain guys see plays before they happen. He’s one of those guys. He drew a parallel of what it was like playing with Rondo the last two years. Two of those guys can open up a defense easily.”
Can Gasol be the catalyst for the Lakers title run?
Gasol replaced Dwight Howard, who was a more athletic defender and a better rim protector. But the Spaniard brings a lot of skills to the table aside from defense, which is why he is a grade over Howard.
There were some doubts after his first two games. He had zero points, one rebound, and one assist in his first game. In the second game, he had two points, nine rebounds, and zero assists. But last night he reminded his critics about what he can still offer, despite being 35 now.
Gasol was an important player for the Raptors two seasons ago when they won the title. He has declined since then, but he can still be a valuable asset to any contending team. The Lakers will hope that his veteran presence comes in handy, especially during the playoffs.
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