After winning an NBA World Championship and a FIBA World Championship in the same summer, maybe it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Raptors big center Marc Gasol seems to be suffering from a bit of a championship hangover early in the new NBA season.
Gasol was held out of contact drills at the start of the Raptors training camp and only saw limited action in two of Toronto’s four preseason games where he shot just 4-12 in 45 total minutes of action against defenders playing with suspect effort.
“Initially, we’ll start off with holding (Gasol) out for a while,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse at the start of training camp. “I’m in no hurry to see him hit the floor, especially in any of our contact stuff right now.”
Maybe Nurse could have rushed Gasol back just a little quicker?
Gasol, whose value to Toronto is primarily as a play-maker and defender, has looked a bit lost in the first two games of the season and hasn’t been able to do anything on offense at all. In fact, despite being forced into shooting wide open shots from the three-point line as the guy left uncovered and (gulp) in the paint, the big Spaniard has hit on just 1-16 shots and has become a run-stopper when the Raptors offense is clicking.
Gasol has looked noticeably frustrated with himself, however, what’s likely a severe case of rust shouldn’t last too much longer than the first couple of weeks into the season. This is one hangover that time and playing games should fix.