Ebene Magazine – Lakers Newsletter: Marc Gasol is committed to excellence

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Hello, this is Dan Woike, and welcome to the Lakers newsletter, the time to speak directly to our readers as well as learn about candle offers and cheap airfares. And as with any good email, forward this to at least 15 people, otherwise the Lakers will miss 70% of their three-point shots in the next game.

The veterans center was upset and declined to speak to us in the media to talk about a move that had to sting.

The Lakers signed Andre Drummond not just to help them win, but to be part of their starting line-up. That decision would bring Gasol to the bottom of the Lakers’ bank. The teams don’t play three centers – and they even play them less when they have the likes of Markieff Morris and eventually Anthony Davis to hold those minutes.

In this version of the NBA, a veteran who has been demoted especially someone with the belief that he can still help a team, recourse. He could have asked and tried to join another playoff team that needs a big team.

He’s probably thought about it. When I asked him about his plans right after the Lakers defeated Sacramento, he didn’t answer straight away and switched between « things are changing » to « I’m committed to this team » and « we’ll see ».

But after that The Lakers defeated the Raptors in Tampa on Monday – a huge win given the challenges ahead – Gasol was in a completely different mood and firmly committed to the Lakers in word, tone and deed. And they’re lucky to have it.

When talking to executives and Boy Scouts around the NBA, there is some uncertainty about who the Lakers’ best center might actually be. Remember, Gasoline was signed to team up with LeBron James and Davis. That’s only happened 23 times this year, and those 23 times we’ve never really seen Davis in full swing.

Some NBA reviewers believe that Drummond has the skills to be a superior addition to James and Davis , but there are concerns about its consistency and role acceptance (and fulfillment). It’s not that Drummond is a bad guy – the people who have worked with him think of him really well. But he’s just never been put in a position where so much was at stake.

Gasoline has – he knows how to avoid stars, how to get the right amount of aggressiveness under immense pressure at the right moment adds. The Lakers and Frank Vogel know this – that’s why they keep saying they’ll need it.

The Lakers have a lot of options – and with gasoline on board it’s still pretty good. While not the physical presence of Drummond, Gasol is a basketball genius who thinks of the game on a level where it makes up for slow feet (sometimes).

The Lakers are returning to Drummond – he needs them Minutes to learn the Lakers system and get back into basketball shape.

Gasoline public acceptance of the Lakers plan is one less thing to ask about – and one less possible distraction to worry about Lakers need to worry. And if Plan A doesn’t work out, the Lakers fallback option is pretty good.

On the fifth anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s last game as Laker, we’d like to share your favorite memories of that night. Were you there? Did you see it on tv What do you notice?

As always, the more specific, the better. Email me at [email protected] or text me about the full court text.

I’m not sure there is a sentence that can better the state of basketball in Manhattan describes as « bad decisions » but the Knick weathered the storm and came out on the other side to prepare for the postseason. Old friend Julius Randle leads the way, and to celebrate, let’s listen to New York’s The Strokes.

As always, share your thoughts on da[email protected] and subscribe if you like We’re enjoying our work!

Dan Woike is the Lakers’ beatwriter for the Los Angeles Times after spending two seasons across the league focusing on the Los Angeles teams.

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