The opening night loss to the Clippers seems like a lifetime ago (possibly because the Clippers are losing games by 50 now), as the Los Angeles Lakers have not rattled off two straight blowout victories with lopsided wins against the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Lakers newcomer Marc Gasol was a big factor in the team’s 127-91 win last night against the T’Wolves, scoring 12 points on a particularly efficient 100% from the field! He made all four of his shot attempts (3-for-3 from deep) while also nearing a triple-double with eight assists and eight rebounds, adding four blocks as well.
It was the exact type of stat line that Rob Pelinka was probably envisioning when he signed Marc Gasol, as he was finally able to have the type of game that he thinks he can bring to this team. He had poor performances in both of the first two games for the Lakers, as he said after the second that his comfort in the Lakers system wasn’t going to happen overnight. It seems to be heading in a good direction, as LeBron James spoke after their win against the T’Wolves, likening Gasol to himself as well as Rajon Rondo as players with high basketball IQs (quote transcribed from Ryan Ward of Lakersdaily.com)
“Certain guys that just see plays before they happen. They do it with their mind, do it with their pass, and Marc is one of those guys. His basketball IQ…not many happen to see the game like that. I’ve been privileged, back-to-back years, to be alongside ‘Do (Rajon Rondo) and now to be alongside Marc who sees the game very similar to the way I see it.”
Convinced Marc Gasol could drop a perfect bounce pass with a deflated basketball. pic.twitter.com/FJQNHHVHK0
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) December 28, 2020
Marc Gasol finally brought his insane passes from the preseason to the regular season, creating his own highlight reel above courtesy of Joey Ramirez with the Lakers. His passing is something that I’m sure LeBron and Pelinka noticed before he was signed, but Kyle Kuzma was extremely complimentary of his passing after Sunday’s game, saying he noticed it in the film when he dove through some Gasol tape before the season.
He will continue to be a huge part of the effort to alleviate LeBron and Anthony Davis’ workload throughout this season, as will the other weapons on the Lakers.