Brothers at war: Marc and Pau will go head-to-head
Pau Gasol admits that the Lakers are ‘fighting for their lives’ as they attempt to survive an enduring season and reach the end of season play-offs.
“Every game is a big deal and the next two will be very tough,” said the 32 year-old Spaniard.
The 16-time NBA champions take on Memphis and their rivals LA Clippers in their next two games as they look to hold on to 8th spot in the Western conference.
Memphis have already secured their place in the post-season and have already surpassed their previous season win total high with 51 victories so far. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol have combined well for the Grizzlies and the duo received praise from (Pau) Gasol.
“They both are very physical players and are great rebounders. They have found a good combination that works well for them.”
“My brother is a great passer and is making plays for the team all the time. It will be a big challenge!”
Pau on Marc
It’s all love and respect between Pau and Marc Gasol off the court, but they will go head-to-head in battle at the Staples Centre in an important game for the Lakers. Here’s how the brothers compare so far this campaign:
PAU GASOL: 42 games; 35 starts; 13.0 ppg; 45.5% FG; 69.5% FT; 8.0 rpg; 3.6 apg; 11 double-doubles; Most points- 25.
MARC GASOL: 73 games (all starts); 14.4 ppg; 49.8% FG; 85.6% FT; 7.6 rpg; 3.9 apg; 15 double-doubles; Most points- 27
LA’s Gasol has only recently returned from a foot injury that sidelined him for around 7 weeks and during his absence, the Lakers compiled a 13-7 record to overtake Utah in the race for the final play-off spot. The Lakers positive run of results has coincided with the return of Dwight Howard’s form.
Howard has been revitalised since the All-Star break and joining in on the current NBA streak craze, ‘Superman’ has recorded 12 straight double-doubles and is confident the Lakers can overcome the challenge of Memphis.
“If we play like we have the last two games then I believe we can win. When me and Pau (Gasol) are active it makes things tougher for the other teams.”
Speaking about his own form, Howard said: “I’m getting better, I’m not where I want to be but I’m happy with my progress.”
The 6’11” centre sustained an injured shoulder in the last meeting between the two sides when the Lakers suffered their second defeat in Memphis this season.
The Lakers are currently half a game ahead of Utah while Dallas loiter further behind and Mike D’Antoni’s side can still improve on eighth position with Golden State and Houston still to play in their seven remaining games. The Warriors and Rockets are not too far ahead but a first round clash with San Antonio or Oklahoma looks the most likely scenario should LA make the play-offs.