As the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets on Monday, they looked much more like their former selves with a renewed sense of focus and effort, particularly on the defensive end. As a result, they were able to scrape together just enough offense without LeBron James to not completely give away a 14-point lead that the Nuggets had whittled down to two points.
In addition to Lakers’ big Anthony Davis looking much more spry and showing signs of life, Lakers center Marc Gasol showed why he is such an asset to the team with a team-high +17 in plus-minus while going toe to toe with likely MVP Nikola Jokic.
In the following video, I broke down why Gasol’s skillset is particularly well-suited for Jokic’s style of play, and offers the Lakers an extremely viable defensive matchup if these two teams were to meet in the post-season.
In other words, Marc Gasol has a very particular set of skills, skills he’s developed over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for players like Jokic. If the Lakers and Nuggets get a playoff rematch this season, they might just make him the Lakers’ best option against the presumptive MVP.
Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.