3) The Marc Gasol conundrum
Once again on Friday night, Marc Gasol showed why the Toronto Raptors were willing to give up so much to obtain him at the trade deadline. Actually, that should be that he once again justified the decision.
Gasol was particularly effective with his passing game. His six assists were the most in his four games as a Raptor, and yet you know there is still more to come in this department. (On three occasions this season with the Memphis Grizzlies, he recorded 10+ dimes.)
In this respect, thoughts turn to if or when the Raptors will start the three-time All-Star? So far he has averaged 19.3 minutes on the court, well off the 33.7 minutes he was logging per night with the Grizzlies. (His career average is 33.6 minutes.)
To be fair, if Gasol had started on Friday night, he might not have logged many more minutes, considered he finished with five fouls. Regardless, it is an interesting and good problem to have, with Serge Ibaka still holding down the position of starting centre.
As far as coach Nick Nurse is concerned, he’s going to go with the flow and keep an open mind regarding who starts between the two big men. As reported by Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, Nurse said: “We want to stay versatile. We want to use them both.”
In truth, it doesn’t really matter who starts between Ibaka and Gasol. Minutes on the floor will be determined by matchups and who is playing better on a particular night; again, a good problem to have, when considering the duo’s respective skill sets.