Gasol adjusting to life as a Raptor after “hectic” few days


The NBA’s trade deadline might have passed, but the off-court action doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all for the Toronto Raptors.

The team will sign veteran point guard Jeremy Lin once he clears waivers in a couple of days after he was bought out by the Atlanta Hawks.

Lin will replace the recently dealt Delon Wright, providing more reliable shooting, more of a pick-and-roll feel as an initiator, more experience, but quite a bit less at the defensive end than Wright.

ESPN first reported the Lin news on Monday morning, not long after Toronto’s higher-profile acquisition, burly centre Marc Gasol spent about 10 minutes introducing himself to local reporters at Scotiabank Arena following a team shootaround.

Oh, yeah, Toronto was to take on Brooklyn later in the evening, with the home fans getting their first chance to see Gasol in action live.

The Spaniard, who had spent his entire career in Memphis, one of the NBA’s smaller markets, seemed briefly taken aback when he walked in to see five cameras and about a dozen reporters waiting to talk to him. The surprise didn’t last long though, and Gasol quickly made it clear how happy he was to be back in the mix after some down years ended his time in Memphis.

“You understand the chance you have coming from a team that hasn’t made the playoffs last year and more likely than not this year as well, having a chance to be back there, you know how much it means,” Gasol said.

“You look at the team and the way the(Raptors) franchise is set up and everybody around it, you understand what they’re going for. It’s all great things.” Gasol said while the past few days have been “a little hectic” since he was acquired in a deal that sent Jonas Valanciunas, Wright, C.J. Miles and a second round pick the other way, the experience has energized him.

Gasol has been a part of some extremely successful teams, and we emphasize team here, since his best Grizzlies and medal-winning Spanish squads were groups of men who excelled by working as a collective. He’s used to egos not being as important and as front and centre as they are on many NBA sides.

Which is probably why Gasol deftly deflected any queries about his role as a Raptor and whether starting or coming off the bench is a major concern.

He came off the bench again on Monday after also doing so in his debut against New York.

“I’m used to starting, obviously, for the last probably 10 years (Gasol has started 762 of 771 career appearances), but we’ll see how it goes,” Gasol said. “Right now it’s how fast can I get acclimated and how can I help he guys up their game more … It’s just trying to fit in and understanding the plays, the spacing, obviously, the pace that they’re trying to play at, players’ tendencies, defensively the terminology as well. It’s not so much about my role now. It’s about trying to get comfortable and adjusted …read more

Source:: Daily times

      

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