Marc Gasol’s performance in the 93-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets once again showed the center’s importance to a successful title defense for the Los Angeles Lakers this year.
The 36-year-old came off the bench on Monday having sat out the loss to the Toronto Raptors the previous night. Gasol’s effort on defense helped L.A. suffocate Denver’s offense as the Nuggets ended up shooting just 43.9% from the field. In addition, the center chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block.
Gasol’s role has decreased significantly since Andre Drummond’s arrival. But the center seems to deliver each time head coach Frank Vogel calls his name. Lakers youngster Talen Horton-Tucker admires the Spaniard’s attitude and professionalism, which he thinks allowed him to succeed in the NBA.
“It’s actually kind of funny, I was talking to him today and he was telling me how, I always see how positive he’s been throughout all the situations that we’ve had this year with him being out of the rotation, being in the rotation, things like that,” he said after the win over Denver. “And just him being an ultimate professional I feel like it takes him a long way.”
Horton-Tucker pointed out that Gasol has the right to feel anger due to his irregular appearances on the floor but still chooses to pick the team’s good over his own. “Of course, he can be mad that he’s not playing or anything like that or that he’s not getting the minutes that he wants but ultimately, we’re trying to win and somebody has to sacrifice no matter who it is,” Horton-Tucker said.
“I feel like we all know that so it’s great for us to have Marc too because without him tonight would’ve been a little different.”
Gasol emphasizes importance of team effort in victory over Denver
The Lakers surprised the Nuggets on Monday, notching a second win in the last eight games. After the clash, Gasol said L.A. looked more like a monolith rather than a group of individuals, playing a big part in the victory. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team instead of mentioning guys,” he said.
“It’s more who we are as a team and who we are going to be. Everyone tied to one another, regardless of your situation. You zero minutes, you play 20 minutes. The theme of success is everyone is everyone’s success.”
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