2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies Player Preview: Marc Gasol

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Gasol has taken his place amongst the NBA's elite centers, and the Grizzlies that he will be playing in Memphis during his prime.

What can be said about Marc Gasol that hasn't been said already? Everyone jumped on the bandwagon last season if they hadn't already, and it's safe to say nobody is jumping off anytime soon. Gasol is amongst the NBA's elite centers, and he is here to stay. He's a swiss-army knife center that can just about do it all. Although Gasol has given the Grizzlies all they could possibly ask for, he will have to shoulder even more of the load this year if the Grizzlies plan to up the ante on their own success.

Expectations for 2013-14: Gasol is, and should be, the focal point of the offense. The Grizzlies are better when the offense is running through him. With his arsenal, defenders always have to stay on their toes, giving the Grizzlies the advantage. Gasol can be expected to put up a double-double on any given night, and he will average mid-double digits in points and close to double digits in rebounds. However, his rebounding numbers might suffer with Koufos spelling him from time to time. His points per game shouldn't suffer because he should be even more of a cog in the Grizzlies offense this season.

Areas to Improve: Gasol sometimes struggles with being too passive on offense. He passes when he should shoot far too often. Yes, he is a magnificent passer but the Grizzlies need him to be more of a scorer. I don't mean shoot whenever he gets the chance and pass up excellent passing opportunities to set up a teammate for an easy basket. But, when I see Gasol receive the ball wide open at the elbow, I EXPECT HIM TO SHOOT!

Areas of Concern: The only fathomable concern would be that the addition of Koufos into the big man rotation somehow throws off the balance and causes Gasol to regress ever so slightly. That scenario is highly unlikely though. There is a general consensus that Koufos will help Gasol out tremendously by taking some of the load off of him.

Best-Case Scenario: Gasol becomes a 20-10 guy every night. He is certainly capable of scoring 20 points and grabbing ten rebounds every night, but would that actually be beneficial for the Grizzlies? Well, it's hard to know since it hasn't happened yet, but to me it seems like a good thing. If Gasol is averaging 20 points per game, that means the addition of Mike Miller and continued sharp-shooting from Quincy Pondexter freed up loads of space for Gasol to obliterate his man in the post.

Worst-Case Scenario: Gasol gets injured somehow and misses the whole season. Unless that happens, Gasol is essentially guaranteed to play at a high level.

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