When you're restless on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles -- as was the case with me following Game 4 - a billion things run through your mind. So I decided to pull out my Grizzlies media guide and check something. Yep, Marc Gasol is indeed listed as 7-1 and weighing almost 270 pounds. Yet he couldn't possibly seem more miniature in the Grizzlies' first-round series against the Clippers. He's not a factor. He's not scoring. He's not rebounding. He's not defending. He's fouling. This version of Marc Gasol isn't the reason Griz owner Michael Heisley handed out a four-year, $58 million contract when the lockout was lifted. The Griz are paying Gasol the maximum allowed, starting at $12.9 million this season, partly based on what the Spaniard did in the playoffs a year ago. Gasol performed much better against more imposing front lines in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. He averaged 15 points, 11.2 rebounds and 51-percent shooting during the Grizzlies 2011 historic playoff. Gasol is a major reason the Griz got within one game of the Western Conference Finals. Now that the Griz are one game from losing in the first round this season could there be a bigger reason for the 3-1 deficit than Gasol? Coaches deemed Gasol an All Star this season. Now, he's nowhere near his regular-season averages (14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds) not to mention the above-average NBA toughness we've become accustomed to. He's been passive and easily taken out of this series.
Missing: Marc Gasol. Reward: A series win if found
Memphis Commercial Appeal | May 8