NBA Roundtable

Marc Gasol

In General NBA on October 3, 2009 at 11:35 pm

The Memphis Commercial reports

Marc Gasol insists he couldn’t be more ready to patrol the paint for the Grizzlies. Why wouldn’t the 7-footer be, following his summer workout program?Forget for a second that Gasol played a lot of basketball this offseason, helping his national team capture the European Championship.

He tackled something much bigger than tournament games in preparation for his second NBA season.

“Collseroz By Tibidabo,” Gasol said, naming the mountain in Spain that he regularly ran for eight miles to shed 25-30 pounds. “It was great because when you get to the top you can see all of Barcelona.

“But it’s not easy getting there.”

Coach Lionel Hollins likes the changes

Gasol, significantly slimmer and quicker, figures the hard work he put in to transform his body will make this season easier. Griz coach Lionel Hollins challenged Gasol to arrive at training camp able to run the court much better than he did during his rookie season.

“He’s running the court really well,” Hollins said. “That’s something he labored with last year. His agility and quickness will really help at the pace we’re trying to play.”

Hollins wants Gasol to be a factor in the Grizzlies’ up-tempo offense. Racing by opposing big men can lead to easy scores. Gasol also can become a better defender and rebounder with improved agility.

The conditioning test

Griz strength coach Jason Biles put Gasol through a conditioning test on the first day of training camp. That meant Gasol had to run the length of the court twice.

Last year, the 24-year-old Spaniard’s best time was 62 seconds.

“My goal was to get him down to 60 seconds,” Biles said.

Gasol ran the drill in 58 seconds.

The article goes on to mention how Gasol has cut out many bad foods and drinks in his effort to get into his best possible shape.

Eurobasket

I watched Spain play two or three times during Eurobasket, and I thought he looked in great shape. A vast improvement over last season, especially his mobility in the paint where he changes directions quickly or beats a penetrator to the spot in order to provide help defense.

Physically, he’s in a much better place to play good defense in the NBA. Now we’ll have to wait and see if he has the technical + mental skills to do it.

I thought Gasol was a poor defender last season for Memphis. Slow on his team defense, and below average with his man-to-man defense. If he can become a solid defender, that would give the Grizzlies a nice boost in the middle, and it would mean great things for his career … because offensively he’s a very nice player.

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  1. Sounds like he’s been taking tips from Steph Marbury with the mountain-running.

    Jokes aside, getting in better playing shape’s a good idea for Marc but isn’t his size and physicality why people like him more than the Euro-style of his brother, Pau?

  2. Hey K-man,

    I don’t see the weight loss changing Gasol’s physical style of play. He’s still 250+lbs, clearly a big guy. I think he’ll still be his physical self down in the paint.

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