Marc Gasol Confident Play ‘Can Only Get Better’ After Rough Lakers Debut
Marc Gasol, Kawhi Leonard
Adam Pantozzi-NBAE

Marc Gasol did not have the outstanding Los Angeles Lakers debut he, the organization and fans were hoping for. Gasol struggled on both ends of the floor, finding himself in foul trouble and out of rhythm, which also impacted his play on the offensive end.

In the long run, Gasol should be just fine, as he is one of the NBA’s most intelligent players. However, it appears he may have one of the longer adjustment periods of any of the Lakers newest additions. Despite the loss to the L.A. Clippers, Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell had encouraging debuts.

“Tough, tough, tough game. I never got in a rhythm offensively, obviously never really had a chance to be in a lot of actions and help my teammates,” Gasol said of his first game in a Lakers uniform.

“Defensively, got put in a couple bad positions from the get-go, little ticky-tack fouls. The referees were being very hard in the first half of the game, I think. I got the short end of the stick a couple times. When you’re in foul trouble, you’re then more cautious. It can only get better from now, so that’s definitely a positive.”

Moving forward, Gasol reassured the Lakers that he has no expectations when it comes to being in the starting lineup and that he only wants to find a way to contribute. “There was no conversation about me starting, coming off the bench or whatever. When you come to a team — at least in my position — my situation was to help in any way possible and you put everything on the table,” he said.

“It’s for them to tell me what my job is, and I’ll work every day to improve that and be as productive as possible on both ends of the floor. Give guys confidence on the defensive end and knowing where I’m going to be at, helping everyone. And offensively, just making things happen.

“Either me creating for myself or someone else, setting good screens and creating space for the talent we have on the floor. Whatever coach decides, I’m fine and I’ll give my best.”

While it may not be an immediate fix, Gasol seems to know exactly what he needs to do moving forward. If he can find a way to seamlessly switch to smaller defenders without getting in foul trouble, he’ll have his chance to show the value he brings to L.A.

Gasol still processing Lakers terminology

Part of the adjustment period for Gasol and other additions to the Lakers roster this season involves learning a new system.

“Terminology triggers movement. When you call something, there’s a reaction from the guys around you,” Gasol said.

“Reading those guys takes a little bit of time. Not every player reacts the same way or at the same time. You have to understand who you’re playing with, their tendencies, their body movement and body reaction, and time it all up with your reaction and movement.”

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