Quick, can you name the team directly behind the Warriors in the Western Conference? Nope, it’s not the Trail Blazers, nor is it the CP3-led Clippers. It’s the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that has somehow flown under the radar en route to a 33-12 record. But while the all-around dominance of Memphis has been overshadowed by the Splash Bros, and the never ending stream of absurd highlights coming out of Oakland, Marc Gasol is finally getting his due.
The Spaniard turns 30 today, and he’ll celebrate in three weeks when he goes to New York to start in the All-Star Game. Gasol is playing the best ball of his career right now, leading the Grizz with 19 points and 8 rebounds a night while dishing out assists that would make Gregg Popovich blush. With a DPOY to his name and All-NBA team honors potentially headed his way this year, all that’s missing is the Championship, and he’s closer than ever. In honor of the younger Gasol’s best year ever, we put together a look at his top moments from the 2014-15 season so far. Check it out:
7. October 30, 2014: From the moment his season got started, you knew it was going to be something special. Gasol dropped a career-high 32 and had 9 boards in a rout over Minnesota on Opening Night. In a sign of things to come, he buried several long jumpers and had Nikola Pekovic flailing all over the place.
6. December 19, 2014: After one of the Grizzlies’ team assistants had his car stolen, Gasol pitched in with several teammates and bought him a new car. Somehow State Farm hasn’t offered him a sponsorship yet.
5. January 26, 2015: Marc’s also got a second career in La Liga if he wants it. FC Barcelona would be lucky to have the Barca native, who showed off his soccer skills during a win over Orlando on Tuesday.
4. November 23, 2014: Lob City was no match for Grit ‘N Grind. Gasol dominated, with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks in a dominating win over the Clippers.
3. January 14, 2015: Gasol’s passing is one of the most underrated aspects of his game, and he showed off here on this pass to Tony Allen during the Grizzlies win over Brooklyn earlier this month. Gasol actually averages 4 assists per game, highest in the League for centers.
2. December 26, 2014: Gasol is starting in the All-Star game for the first time ever, and it’s in large part because of games like this. Gasol had his way with Dwight Howard, dropping 29 points and 8 rebounds in a tough loss.
1. December 17, 2014: Sure, MG may be a 16 percent three-point shooter during his career, but this stroke of brilliance/complete luck will go down as one of the plays of the year. Gasol hit this ridiculous shot to send the game into OT, and the Grizzlies eventually won 117-116 in triple overtime. Plus, it proves that the basketball God’s are pulling for Memphis this year. Watch out Western Conference.
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