Jones: Raptors Need More From Marc Gasol

Gasol is a great defender and passer, Paul Jones says, but he needs to score more if the Raptors hope to win the series

Ferrall On The Bench
May 02, 2019 - 8:57 am

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The Golden State Warriors have a 2-0 lead on the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals. Other than that, every other series is as close as it can be, including Toronto/Philadelphia, which may be the best of the bunch.

The Raptors won Game 1, 108-95, while the 76ers won Game 2, 94-89. Game 3 is Thursday in Philadelphia.

“Right now, I think both teams got to be feeling like we’re OK,” Raptors play-by-play voice Paul Jones said on Ferrall on the Bench. “The Raptors shoot 35 percent in Game 2 – you could not have put Danny Green in the gym by himself in the last two three-pointers he missed. The guy’s the second-best three-point shooter in the NBA this year, he’s got two wide-open looks, and neither of them go down. Toronto is saying to themselves ‘If we make a few more shots, we win that game.’

“Philadelphia is saying, ‘We’re not great on the road, but we got one in Toronto – and (Joel) Embiid and (Ben) Simmons still haven’t played that well. We’re coming home, our role players are going to be more comfortable, and we’ve got home-court advantage.’ We’ll see who is OK after (Game 3) and who becomes suddenly desperate on Sunday ( in Game 4).”

While the Raptors need quality games from Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, they also need more offense from Marc Gasol, who shot 1-of-6 and finished with five points in Game 2. In fact, Gasol, who averaged 13.6 points this season, has been held to single digits in six straight games.

“I think that’s something that the Raptors quietly worry about,” Jones said. “He’s such a good passer, such a good facilitator of the offense. They play that two-man game with him and Lowry. It’s like the two old dudes at the park that couldn’t jump over the credit card, but they’re carving you up. I think there’s a quiet concern there when Marc is not aggressive and turns down shots. I think he’s got to take the shots that are presented to him. He’s done a good job defensively – a great job defensively – on Embiid, but I think the other part of that is going at him a little bit on the offensive end.”

Click below to listen to Jones’ interview in its entirety.