Marc Gasol goes off versus Warriors
As certain writers may have predicted, Marc Gasol skipped the competitive formalities and proceeded directly to the tercio de muerte -- abusing Golden State's miniaturized frontcourt in a way few Spaniards could have dreamed -- on his way to 27 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal. In doing so, Gasol firmly staked his claim to "second best Gasol to ever play for Marc Iavaroni."
Since 2000, only five times has a player had at least 25 points, 15 boards, 3 blocks and shot 80 percent from the field in a game.
|Marc Gasol, Grizzlies (11/3/08)|
|Kevin Garnett, Wolves (2/3/06)|
|Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers (3/21/04)|
|Kevin Garnett, Wolves (3/21/01)|
|Alonzo Mourning, Heat (2/23/00)|
|-- ESPN Research|
With the "other" Gasol, I would tell you two things: go check your waiver wire and temper your future expectations before trying to buy low in a trade. If Gasol ends up averaging a double-double with a couple of blocks, he'll still be well worth the endgame pick savvy owners spent for his services. He'll be like Luis Scola without the massive disappointment.
What makes Gasol so intrguing? One, the irony that he could end up upgrading the Gasol trade from Dr J.-for-cash status to Caron Butler-for-Kwame Brown status. Two, by playing in Memphis, he's in an ideal situation to capitalize on his ample upside. He has no real competition at center. Thanks to his European experience, he's actually more battle tested than many of his teammates. And he should grab an extra 5-7 rebounds a night off of O.J. Mayo's misses alone.
The larger lesson here is that you can't underestimate the fantasy value of rebuilding small-market teams. To those of you panning the waiver wire for fantasy gold, you're far more likely to find an available Grizzly than a Celtic, Laker, or any other team that looms larger on the NBA radar. These are also the teams that tend to have more young players with upside (via higher draft choices) and more of a willingness to give said players meaningful playing time. It's exactly why Rudy Gay was able to take such a quantum leap in his development last season.
Under the Boards
|• Andrei Kirilenko, Jazz: 15 points (7-7 FT), 11 rebounds and 4 steals at the Clippers.|
• Andres Nocioni, Bulls: 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3-for-4 on 3-pointers in 26 minutes at Orlando.
• Jason Thompson, Kings: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists in 30 minutes against the 76ers.
|• Luol Deng, Bulls: 1 point on 0-for-8 shooting versus the Clippers.|
• Corey Maggette, Warriors: 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting, one rebound and two assists; he also reaggravated a previous hamstring injury.
• Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks: 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting and 6 rebounds against Cleveland.