Marc Gasol: The Most Underrated Season of His Career
Marc Gasol may not be in his prime anymore, but he is still a future Hall of Famer for a reason. Gasol is a three-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA team member, All-Defensive Team member, Defensive Player of the Year, and now a champion.
He and his brother, Pau Gasol, are both arguably the best Spanish basketball players to ever grace a court. We have already gone over the most underrated season of Pau’s career. So, now it makes sense to look at the younger brother’s most overlooked season. Marc Gasol was a bully in his prime, which fit perfectly with the “Grit and Grind” Memphis Grizzlies. However, one of those seasons doesn’t get enough credit.
Marc Gasol: His Most Overlooked Season
Marc Gasol: 2016-17 Campaign
In the 2016-17 season, the Memphis Grizzlies knew they had big decisions to make. They knew their Grit and Grind squad could very well be broken up soon with Mike Conley and Zach Randolph nearing the end of their contracts. The team still made the playoffs, finishing seventh in the Western Conference. They would go on to lose in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs, but the fact still remains that Memphis was a postseason team that year.
Not to mention, the Grizzlies were still one of the better defensive teams as they finished in the top 10 (seventh place at a rating of 107.1) in defensive ratings in the league in 2016-17.
Marc Gasol was one of the key players leading the way. Randolph was showing signs of age, only starting five games that season. Randolph’s absence left a hole in Memphis’ famous frontcourt, but Gasol (a 2017 All-Star) was still getting it done. He was a great veteran mentor to the young players and still maintained his All-Star level, something that can be hard to balance. His numbers also prove that his 2016-17 season deserves more recognition.
Gasol would make his third All-Star Game that year and his stats show why. During the 2016-17 campaign, Gasol would come away with 19.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game. On top of that, he would average an effective field goal percentage of 50.3. His defence stayed solid as well, as the big man blocked 1.3 shots per game. Gasol’s advanced numbers during this season were also impressive.
Big Spain tallied a defensive rating of 106 to pair with an offensive rating of 111. He also averaged a total rebounding percentage of 10.5 to go along with a block percentage of 3.7. The cherry on top is his win share average of 7.7 to go along with a player efficiency rating of 20.3, the second-highest of his career. Marc Gasol has had a terrific career and his 2016-17 campaign is one that deserves a lot more credit.
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