Admittedly, many Grizzlies fans wanted more than one Memphis player to be headed to New York this weekend. However, Memphians were extremely proud when the announcement was made that Marc Gasol had been voted in by the fans to be a starter in the All-Star game. This accomplishment made Memphis Grizzlies history. This year has already been memorable, and this just adds to it. Memphis might only have one representative at the All-Star game, but the one the Grizzlies have is certainly deserving. Free agency is looming in the future, but Marc has continued to show his commitment to the Grizzlies on and off the court. In preparation of Sunday night, I have a wish list for Wendigo that I hope he'll follow:
#AggressiveMarc has been the hash tag that Grizzlies fans have often used during the course of this season. Unlike in the past, Marc has developed a more aggressive mentality as he is realizing his full potential and leadership role on the team. He's taking 1.5 shots more per game than last season, and he's averaging a career high 18.3 PPG. He's already had twenty 20+ point games this season. Among the other flashy, spotlight NBA stars, I expect to see Marc remain as aggressive as he's been with the Grizzlies this past year.
2. Wizard-Like Passing
Something that Marc Gasol has always been particularly talented at is passing. We've seen him throw the ball all the way down the court, behind the back, and even while not looking. This season, he's already filled up highlight reals with sweet passes like these:
Marc is averaging a career high 3.7 assists per game, which shows that #AggressiveMarc can still be unselfish and a great passer. It's almost as if he has eyes in the back of his head, sometimes. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if we see a pass or two Sunday night that makes the New York crowd swoon.
3. Point Marc
With Marc's new physique, we've watched him do things that he would've never done before this season. He runs up and down the court faster than ever before, and we've even watched him take down the court with the ball. I want to see Marc grab defensive rebounds and take it down the court for a fast break pass or emphatic dunk. Marc is the most unique center in the game and is proving with each game this season, whether it be with game tying three pointers, game winning blocks, or behind the back passes. Being on national TV, it's time for Gasol to show off his point guard skills.
For the first time in NBA history, brothers will be starting in opposing conferences. The Gasol brothers are considered by many to be one of the best brother duos of all time, and the league has been buzzing with anticipation of the brother showdown. These two have expressed repeatedly how happy they were for one another and how much this opportunity to both play in the All-Star game means to them. And while brotherly love is certainly acceptable on the sidelines, I want to see Marc try to outdo his talented brother, Pau Gasol. Pau is having a tremendous year with the Bulls as he's averaging 18.4 PPG,12.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks. However, I imagine there will be plenty of post ups and sky hooks from Big Spain against his older brother. Both have their unique strengths, and I expect them to be on full display Sunday in New York.
5. More Soccer Skills
Lastly, I want to see Wendigo try out his soccer skills again out on the court. Being from Spain, soccer is certainly in his blood. Maybe he was teasing us of his upcoming All-Star antics just a couple of weeks ago vs. the Orlando Magic:
See what I mean? He was just teasing us for the All-Star game. He'll make the bucket next time.
Marc Gasol All-Star jerseys are becoming more and more commonplace around Memphis as the game has been drawing near. And Sunday night, eager fans will be gathered around their televisions to watch Marc jump at the opening tip. Gasol is Memphis' representative for the whole league to see, and he won't let us down.