In his first contest against his former team in the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol put forth his best performance of the season so far. The veteran center finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks in an easy Lakers win.
The 13 points were a season-high for Gasol while his rebound and block totals tied season-highs. Furthermore, this was another in a line of good performances from the Gasol since the team brought on Andre Drummond.
Gasol was extremely candid about his feelings on the signing and the subsequent lessening of his role with Drummond on board. But since that time, Gasol says he has reassessed his situation with the Lakers and will remain ready whenever his number is called.
“I’ll stay ready. I’m fully committed to the team,” Gasol said following the Raptors win. “I’ll stay ready when my number is called. I understand we have to get Andre acclimated to what we’re trying to do, we have to get back our two main guys Bron and AD whenever they come back and we have to get the group going, get some chemistry going with the first unit for them.”
Head coach Frank Vogel made it clear that Drummond will be the starter once he returns and that looks as if it will be happening sooner rather than later. And to Gasol’s point, there is a major need to develop some chemistry with that starting group once everyone is healthy.
But Gasol insists that he will be prepared for whatever role he is needed in. “I’ll be ready no matter what happens, no matter if it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever position, if it’s some nights I might not play. But I’ll stay ready no matter what,” Gasol added.
“I made that commitment, it’s been a process for me to reassess this situation a little bit, but like I said, I’m fully committed to this team. So whatever is thrown at me, I’ll be ready.”
Vogel says Drummond will remain the starting center
Gasol has been excellent on both sides of the floor recently, leading many to wonder if he shouldn’t remain the starting center for the Lakers moving forward. But Vogel remains committed to Drummond as the starter.
“We’re going to start Andre. That’s what we signed him here for,” Vogel said. “First of all, we need to give him a ton of minutes to get him acclimated in our system. There’s only X amount of games before the playoffs and he’ll be our starter.”
Vogel brings up an excellent point in that the Lakers have a limited time to get Drummond acclimated and comfortable within the Lakers system. The franchise signed him to be a contributor and he will need as many minutes as possible to be ready when the playoffs begin.
Likewise, Vogel strongly believes that Drummond, Gasol, and Montrezl Harrell will all be necessary on this Lakers’ playoff run. “But like I said, we said this the whole time through, we need all three of those guys and all three of them are really good players. They’re going to help us win a championship.”
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