Marc Gasol it debuted with the Toronto Raptors in the game they won against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden (99-104). Nick Nurse maintained the initial type quintet that he has been using this season with Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam and Ibaka. Marc Gasol, newcomer to the team after his transfer from the Memphis Grizzlies, on Thursday, he started on the bench. He played 19 minutes and added seven points (3 of 7 in field goals and 1 of 2 in free throws), six rebounds, one assist, two steals, one stopper and two losses. It was his first match as a reserve since December 26, 2008. The 740 games he played since then he always did as a starter.
On the bench, he sat for the first nine minutes of the first quarter together with Sergio Scariolo, with which he talked constantly. The national coach, Nurse's assistant, is logically the best person to guide Marc on his adaptation and the details of the Raptors' style of play.
The new number 33 of the Canadian team relieved Ibaka with two and a half minutes to go until the end of the first quarter. At that time, the Raptors chained a favorable partial 0-9. It helped them get ahead 27-25, precisely with Marc's first basket with his new team. Toronto had not started the game well and came to accumulate a disadvantage of 12 points 17-5. From the third quarter on, the Raptors' dominance increased (46-59) although in the end some difficulties happened.
The struggle for the ownership between Ibaka and Gasol will be direct, at least for the moment, since Nurse did not line them up together at any time and both played at all times in the position of pivot. Serge Ibaka he had an excellent performance with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Kyle Lowry was the best with five triples and 22 points and Kawhi Leonard was not fine in the shot and stayed in 11 points.
Gasol found himself in front of the team now headed by Dave Fizdale, the coach who was fired last season from the Grizzlies. The destitution, at the end of November, put Marc in the disparadero. It came a day after Fizdale left him without playing in the last quarter in a game against Brooklyn. The Spanish center was then criticized for considering that it was he who forced the coach's dismissal, an extreme that he has always denied.
Fizdale fielded two new players, Dennis Smith (13 points and six assists) and DeAndre Jordan (10 points and as many rebounds), both from the Dallas Mavericks. In contrast, Wesley Matthews, was low. Knox was the most decisive in the Knicks with 20 points.
Utah beat San Antonio (125-105). The trio formed by Donovan Mitchell (23 points), Rudy Gobert (21 points and 13 rebounds) and Ricky Rubio (16 points, six rebounds and six assists) dominated the game with authority.
The Spurs were much lower in the rebound (52-36) and efficiency in shooting. DeRozan's 23 points, 15 points and 10 rebounds from Aldridge did not represent a major problem for the Jazz defense. Gregg Popovich, in the line of recent games, barely had Pau Gasol. The Spanish center was seven minutes on the court, when the game was already decided, and added five points, two rebounds and two assists.