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Breaking Down Potential Free Agent Targets: Marc Gasol

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by HMMMHMM, Jul 22, 2011.


    HMMMHMM Contributing Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    Likes Received:
    This was supposed to be part one of a series I had planned on doing, though now, in all likelihood won't be able to finish due to changes in my personal life.
    Please note that I'm very well aware of the Rockets' current salary situation and I don't see the Grizzlies not re-signing Gasol, but crazier things have happened and there isn't much else to get excited about (Nene, T.Chandler & D.Jordan being the other free agents I wanted to get to), so let just pretend there would be no such thing as a salary cap.

    Having gotten that out of the way, let's look at the Rockets most glaring needs:

    The Rockets were 20th in Defensive Rebound Rate last season. In order to become a better defensive team they must improve in that area, as it largely correlates with defensive efficiency (Points allowed per 100 possessions).
    They also must get better at protecting the rim (OpposingFG% 65.3 - 23th) and defending in general / closing out (OPPeFG% 50.0 - 15th; another key factor in defensive efficiency).
    A big part of getting better in those areas is coaching and mindset, but really, it comes down to personal. It starts with the perimeter players and while you theoretically can be a good defensively without a defensive force in the middle, having a rimprotector sure helps.
    Having said all that, the Rockets were a 43 win team last season. That's the bottom line. You can talk about needs all you want, but the reality is that more than anything the Rockets need to add talent.

    Marc Gasol: 7-1, 265lbs, RFA



    Gasol is a fun player to watch. Not because he vows you with spectacular dunks or other crazy athletic highlight plays, but rather because he plays the game the right way. He's always looking for the best play, understanding what opposing teams are trying to do, what players strengths and weaknesses are. He knows his own strengths, but also his shortcomings. He'll look for the mismatch, whether he or a teammate has it. He's unselfish, yet rarely passive. He doesn't possess great athletic ability, but for the most part makes up for it by seeing the play develop before it happens. He's competitive and plays with intensity, without being even remotely dirty. He just seems like the type of guy you'd love to play with.

    Strength & Weaknesses:



    Gasol's offensive game consist of a variety of go-to and counter moves. Jump hooks, running hooks, turnaround- and fade-away jumpers out of the post, you name it. He's pretty much got it all. His ability to finish with either hand makes him an especially hard cover, as he's able to set people up and take what the defense gives him.
    Gasol is also capable of knocking down the occasional jumper, but it's not necessarily his strong suite. He doesn't settle for jumpers however and understands the importance of taking quality shots within the offense and therefore picks his spots.
    Gasol does a good job rolling to the basket or popping out after setting a screen. He moves reasonably well without the ball for a guy his size, creating favorable angles to receive the ball and keeping his defender occupied to space the floor. If he's hit with a pass, he seldomly fumbles the ball, thanks to his soft hands. He also does a good job of keeping the ball high whether it's off a pass or rebound.

    All the videos are available in HD, but for whatever reason I was unable to embed them in HD. For a better viewing experience I recommend watching the clips in 720p. Sorry for the blurry parts. I wish I would have been able to fix it, though I don't think it's that big of a deal.

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lwel27H0wCY?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Gasol is a fairly capable and willing passer, which is why the Grizzlies use him in a lot of high post sets (a bit too much for my liking). His passing ability coupled with his court vision, basketball IQ and offensive skill set make him good option to run the offense through, though again I'd argue that he currently spends too much time in the highpost.

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GCe5oN0zl6o?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Gasol will never be a great rebounder and there's no question that he'll need to get more consistent.
    However, while Gasol's rebounding numbers on paper look below average, he's demonstrated in this year's playoffs that he's very well capable of rebounding at a higher rate.
    One thing to consider looking at his offensive rebounding numbers is that he spends a lot, certainly most than other centers, of his time in the high post. This is partly due to his passing and shooting ability, but also because of Zach Randolph's fairly dominant post game.
    He doesn't really posses the tools to be a great offensive rebounder to begin with, but him being in the free throw line area when most shots go up sure doesn't help his cause.
    Gasol's defensive rebounding isn't great either and he'll forget get to box out or get outjumped every once in a while, but for the most part he's pretty good at keeping his man off the glass.
    If he secures a rebound, he does a good job seeing the floor, looking to quickly hit Mike Conley with an outlet pass, trying to initiate early offense.
    Again, he'll need to get more consistent, but he's certainly capable of being at least average. His playoff numbers, granted the small sample size, show that and don't see why he wouldn't be able to do it in the regular season against lesser competition.

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2Pv7eH7jNfE?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Defensively Gasol uses his big body to battle for position early, often trying to deny the post entry, not seldomly with success.
    Matched up in the post, he does a good job holding his position, making guys shot over him. Quicker players can give him some trouble, but Gasol is using size and length to take away space and challenge shots pretty effectively. While Gasol is challenged in his vertical quickness, his lateral quickness is pretty solid for a guy his size.

    Gasol's pick&roll defense is a somewhat of a mixed bag. His defensive instincts and fundamentals are good enough to get the job done against most guys and for the most part he does a good job reading the situation, showing or hedging and getting back to his man, but again it's the quick and athletic players that give him fits. He's not a bad pick&roll defender by any means, but at times he's just that one or two steps to slow to cut of the angles properly and stop dribble penetration, giving up high quality shots or causing his teammates having to help more than you'd like.

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CntJX0x4cao?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    As previously mentioned Gasol is a bit slow and his conditioning isn't great, which at times hurts him particularly in transition.
    He tends to be out of position, not catch up with the play entirely or is too limited athletically to effectively defend quicker players on the fly.
    He does a good job however, of zoning up while running back, understanding the basics of transition defense. He also for the most part does a pretty decent job of closing out and understanding how much space to give to to certain player if caught up in a mismatch.

    Asides from transition defense, help defense is probably the area Gasol struggles the most. Again it's his lack of quickness and athleticism that stands him in the way. Being the help man on pick & rolls he, again, often is just a step too slow to close out or rotate properly.
    Gasol's BLK% is surprisingly high, but I wouldn't say he's much of a rimprotector (relatively speaking). Most of his blocks come simply from him being tall and having good defensive instincts. He does a good job of not fouling and picking his spots as to when to challenge shots, but again, it's his lack of athletic ability that holds him back. I don't have the numbers to back this up, but watching all those games it seemed like for every block Gasol got he gave up at least one, if not two or three layups. Guys didn't seem to be bothered much by Gasol's presence and I'd argue that his BLK% can be a be deceiving, given that he doesn't alter many shots.

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Djfs1yDg458?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    In short, Gasol is challenged athletically, doesn't rebound at a high rate and isn't much of a rimprotector, yet he's exactly what the Rockets need. He's a big time talent and in my opinion the number one free agent out there. Arguably a top-5 center already, sky is the limit for Gasol, if he he can shed down some more weight. It's unlikely the Rockets will be able to get him, but if they did, it'd be be a major coup.

    Lost Cuts, if you haven't had enough:

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/n37CqpOy0sw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JURMv8Nn6Lc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    11 people like this.
  2. MamboRock

    MamboRock Member

    Jul 6, 2011
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    Marc Gasol is my pipe dream.
  3. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

    Feb 16, 2007
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    Please refrain from using the phrase "breaking down" in connection with potential Rockets centers.
    1 person likes this.
  4. mrjohn

    mrjohn Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    Nice work. I think a lineup of Lowry, Lee, Morris, Patterson, Gasol would be elite. The surrounding players would offset his weaknesses nicely. So maybe if Gasol gets offered a lot we can trade Martin, hill, and domo for him. That should get it done and I think that would be around the high end of what Marc would be offered per year.
  5. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
    Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Enjoyed it! A very nice job. While I was reading, I couldn't help thinking how well he would have fit into Adelman's system. A guy who does well passing out of the high post, and can knock down the jumper from there. If we manage to retain Rick's offense, Gasol fits it to a T.
  6. mrjohn

    mrjohn Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    That would clear up a logjam for us. DoMo, Hill, Haddadi and even Arthur could be their C rotation which is not bad. Clearly, that would be their weakness but it's serviceable. But their 1 through 4 would be the best in the league with Conley, Martin, Gay, Randolph. And then Tony Allen coming off the bench to lock up. Randolph would get the block to himself. Martin's efficiency would be great since Gay/Randolph need/want touches. Win, win. Grizz would be a top 5 team.
  7. anchel

    anchel Member

    Jan 7, 2010
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    Great job dude. To add something, I'd talk about his leadership. He grew up in Memphis and speaks english perfectly. He's a very vocal guy by nature and he obviously has a great feeling for the game and a very high basket IQ. He likes to share all that knowledge with his partners, he cares about team chemistry and he is more a character guy than his eldest brother. Very very smart person, even more than Pau in my opinion. And he's young but has already a lot of experience.

    In this sense I think he has helped a lot the young Grizzlies to develop into a more solid-compact-smart-united team. Big key to their improvement, not only offensively. And I'd even say that he has a lot to do with the new look of Zach Randolph.
  8. jimmyv281

    jimmyv281 Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    The rockets will never sign gasol he is not coming here.
  9. Lonestar

    Lonestar Member

    Oct 17, 2006
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    how much will he be?
  10. Sman2k10

    Sman2k10 Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    Great read but it's not a question of how he fits in to this team. You don't even have to sell to most of the fans how good he is. The fact is despite Memphis giving outrageous contracts to gay and Randolph, don't know I the rockets could outbid them or any other team going after him. Would love to have him but at this point could only dream
  11. redhotrox

    redhotrox Contributing Member

    Jun 22, 2011
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    Really nice scouting report, thanks for taking the time to do it. I know Gasol is more than likely just a pipe dream, but he's definitely the FA center I want most.
  12. thetatomatis

    thetatomatis Member

    May 25, 2010
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    I don tknow why but alot of people seem like pipe dreams during the Morey era. Just cant buy into the hype until he is in the Uni anymore.
  13. Num1RoXfaN

    Num1RoXfaN Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    I dont understand how a mteam like memphis can sign Randolf, Conley, and gay to crazy contracts and still have enough to give marc a crazy deal. How the hell does the salary cap work? Because the rockets always talk about how we cant get this guy because we only have this much or we cant get this guy because he wants this much. But yet memphis being a small market like it is can afford to give i wold say 4 crazy contracts out and still be able to keep thier other key players. I dont understand it.:mad: All i know is that Martin is the only guy we are paying crazy money for than its Scola, than Lowry. Everybody else well fourth highest is dragic with 3 mill. Why the hell dont we have money to sign key players like a Gasol or D.Jordan or oother all stars out their. I dont get it i really dont. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN IT TO ME!!!!
  14. Damion Laverne

    Nov 19, 2010
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    1. Don't ever post in caps like that again.

    2. There are cap-holds in place that limit the amount of cap-space the Rockets have.

    3. You should read Bima's write up on the salary-cap posted a couple of weeks ago.

    4. Thabeet is getting paid over $5 million this coming year.

    5. Marc Gasol is a RESTRICTED free agent; that means the Grizzlies can sign him to a deal that would exceed the salary cap if they wanted to; the Rockets could only sign him up to the salary cap in a deal since he is restricted.

    6. We don't know what's going to happen with the new CBA.

    7. Again, don't EVER post in caps like that again.
    1 person likes this.
  15. ty185

    ty185 Member

    Aug 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    One of the primary goals for the CBA is to give every team a chance to be good. That means the CBA implemented a lot of rules to prevent Lakers from offering a $15 million per, 5 year contract to Kyle Lowry last season when Lowry became a FA.

    In order to help the smaller market teams, CBA makes the team a lot easier to sign their OWN players instead of steal FAs from some other poorer team. It protects the Rockets so that other teams (LA, NY) can not offer over-priced contracts to our players simply because they are rich.

    On the other hand, it also protects memphis from us offering a huge contract to Marc Gasol simply because we like him.

    -- for the details of how it works, please go read bima's countless threads. -- Or even better, go google Larry Coon's Salary CAP FAQ...
  16. W22_STREAK

    W22_STREAK Member

    Apr 14, 2008
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  17. htownrocketman

    Nov 10, 2009
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    The Rockets will get Gasol like the Texans will get Asumugha.. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!!
  18. DaGreatest

    DaGreatest Member

    May 25, 2010
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    Whoa, say no homo after that
  19. aeolus13

    aeolus13 Contributing Member

    Nov 9, 2009
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    That boy's got hops like Yao

  20. gah

    gah Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    If there was an award for best new poster of the year then HMMMHMM would have to be the unanimous winner.

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