The Memphis Grizzlies traded away Rudy Gay to run more of their offense through their post players, and the play of Marc Gasol has helped make that decision look like the right one. Gasol’s steady production this season has all but cemented as one of the absolute best centers in the NBA.
Gasol spent the early seasons of his career in his older brother Pau Gasol‘s shadow, although the younger Gasol has always been solid in his own right. It didn’t make matters easier given that Marc was traded for Pau as part of that steal of a deal that landed Pau with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008.
But as a rookie the next season, Marc Gasol was quite effective replacing his brother. The younger Gasol averaged a respectable 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing more of a traditional center role than his more slender older sibling.
M. Gasol improved in his second season, upping his per game production to 14.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, a solid assist total for any post player. Even though his minutes took a dip in his third season Gasol has returned to his sophomore form and averaged over 14 points in both last season and the current one.
The most impressive aspect of Gasol’s game at this stage may be his passing ability. Gasol has court vision rarely seen from a center, and as a result he is averaging 3.9 assists per game. There are only three other centers that put up similar stat lines of 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game that Gasol does: Al Horford, Greg Monroe and Anderson Varejao. Gasol also plays extremely well off of Zach Randolph and vice versa, giving the Grizzlies a potent post duo for years to come.
There aren’t many centers that possess Gasol’s combination shooting touch, passing and overall basketball IQ, making him one of the best all-around centers in the NBA.