Should Marc Gasol start taking three-pointers?
Marc Gasol has been one of the best-shooting centers from mid-range for years. Is it finally time for him to take his offensive game to the next level?
Gasol certainly made a leap last year, posting the best scoring numbers of his career. But maybe there's something else in the arsenal, another trait we haven't yet seen. Maybe it's time for the NBA's best center to start putting up attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
The Grizzlies held their annual open practice recently, a rehearsal which ended with a three-point contest involving many of Memphis' players. And who inserted himself in only to win the whole, darn thing?
Gasol. Mark freakin' Gasol.
Jumping up and down over this could show a small lack of appreciation for how good NBA players can actually be. Put DeAndre Jordan in a gym along, and he's making a bunch of free throws. Put Tim Duncan in one by himself, and he's draining threes over and over again. There's a big difference between a three-point contest in an open practice and an NBA game. Many players can sink threes in the former, but couldn't do it in the latter.
That said, the three-point shot would be a fun, new wrinkle to Gasol's game.
Andrew Ford wrote an interesting and technical piece at Grizzly Bear Blues at the start of last season about the possibility of Gasol shooting threes. You can find it here.
The Grizzlies center has made more than 41 percent of his attempts from 16 feet out to the three-point line in his career. Of course, if you send him out to the three-point line, you risk losing his presence in the low or pinch post. But adding a skill doesn't have to be so black and white.
Gasol doesn't have to take a ton of threes just because he has the ability to do so. He could just pop out to the three-point line instead of the 20ish-foot range he usually moves to when coming off ball screens.
Only one attempt a game at a respectable percentage would completely change the way defenses are forced to guard him. But Gasol's floor positioning is different than that of your average center.
Let's not forget that the Grizzlies run much of their offense through their center. That means Gasol is often creating once touching the ball, not only looking to score like many other 7-footers. And it might he tougher for him to create from the three point line (since he's not exactly going to be penetrating and dishing) than it is to do so from the high post.
Either way, maybe it's something worth trying in the preseason just to see what kind of effect it could have on the Griz.