As I launch this site I want to point out a detail I love.
I have watched this clip at least 500 times and I want you to see what separates Marc Gasol from everyone else.
Yes the alley-oop combination of Van Vleet to Siakam in the NBA finals is enough to bring a smile to my face in the darkest of times, but that is not why we are watching this clip. Lets take a look a the true beauty that starts this play.
First, the great double team and Gasol’s nice rotation coverage to pick off the pass.
Second the outlet pass, an absolute thing of beauty.
Watch it slowly..
4:14 on the game clock, he has not gathered possession yet and his back is turned most player on the court.
4:13 He has now turned around, ALL his teammates are still behind him and like a true professional his eyes are up court.
Still 4:13 on the clock and the ball is now out of his hands. You can see Siakam beside him with his hands out. Instead, Gasol fires a perfect lead bass cross court to Van Vleet and Fred catches it in stride! Less than three seconds later Siakam is slamming the ball home.
Watch the highlight one more time to see how quickly Gasol processes the information and fires the perfect pass off. His court awareness is so good he knows where his teammates are going to outlet too. If you think Jonas Valanciunas is making that pass you are out of your mind.
I hope we are privileged enough to watch Marc play basketball for at least a couple more years. Even at this age, the man simply makes winning plays that he does not get credit for.
Kudos to you Mr Gasol.
If you are asking yourself, did this guy just write his very post about an innocuous outlet pass from NBA finals game that the Raptors lost? The answer is a wholehearted ‘yes’. Hope you enjoy.