Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews play central role in Lakers’ win
Marc Gasol referred to a role in the movie “Pulp Fiction” as a motivator to help the Lakers when called up against the Denver Nuggets. Wesley Matthews referred to his faith.
The two wise veterans came to the Lakers to play a role that sometimes is just sitting on the bench and picking up DNPs (didn’t play).
On Monday night at Staples Center, the shorthanded Lakers called on Gasol and Matthews, who claimed a 93-89 victory.
Gasol contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot, and was a plus-17 in the plus-minus department.
Matthews had eight of three points for three from the field, including his two three points.
Gasol had said he was unaware that Kyle Kuzma was pushing for the backup center to get more playing time after Sunday night’s loss to Toronto. But Gasol let Kuzma know that he appreciates the way his teammate takes care of him.
‘And I said to him,’ I’m fine for this role of Mr. Wolf. “You just come in whenever things aren’t going well and help everyone,” Gasol said. “So I accepted it. I will try to do my best in this position. “
Harvey Keitel played the role of “Mr. Wolf ”, the fixer who can deal with the stupid mistakes of Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) in“ Pulp Fiction ”.
“I’m here to help you,” Mr. Wolf tells the two in the movie. “If my help is not appreciated, good luck, gentlemen.”
The Lakers needed Gasol’s help on several levels.
They needed him when starting center Andre Drummond got into trouble. The Lakers needed Gasol to help contain Nikola Jokic, the talented center and leader of the Nuggets for the NBA Most Valuable Player award, who finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
But Gasol did his part to limit Jokic just enough to help the Lakers secure the victory.
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Even though he was solid with his defense and three-on-four three-pointers, Gasol didn’t want to talk about him.
“I think we need to start thinking more as a team, instead of mentioning guys,” Gasol said. “It’s more about who we are as a team and who we’re going to be. Everyone is related to each other regardless of your situation. You play zero minutes, you play 20 minutes, the success of the team is the success of all.
“So when you go there you try to do the best you can to help the team, because if you help the team more often than not we’re going to win a lot of games. So I think we kind of have to forget about the players and the situations and the individual guys and feel more about what we’re going to be as a team to move forward.
The point of Gasol was taken.
Still, there was a moment in the fourth quarter when Gasol and Matthews played central roles in the Lakers, opening a 14-point lead.
Gasol caught a rebound and threw a pass down the length of the court to Matthews for a layup.
Then Gasol made a three run, followed by a Matthews three, a Gasol stuck on Jokic and another Matthews three which gave the Lakers an 83-69 lead.
“Marc was amazing. The whole team was, ”Matthews said“ I can’t speak for Marc. But for me, my friends, my family, God trusting, believing in yourself, trusting the work you do and just staying ready. This is part of it.
“Like I said, basketball is like life, it’s unpredictable. You don’t know what may or may not happen, but you need to prepare for it. You have to keep moving forward. You can continue or continue without you. “