Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies: A+
Marc Gasol doesn't post Shaquille O'Neal numbers at the center position, but there's a reason he's viewed as one of the best in the world. Even when he isn't scoring, Gasol is contributing in every other area of the game.
That was on full display Sunday against a rugged Kendrick Perkins.
Gasol finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals. He spaced the floor with his ability to shoot, facilitated the offense and enabled Zach Randolph to work it inside with his ability to draw Perkins away from the lane.
Come the fourth quarter, Gasol was magnificent with the ball in his hands. He hit turnaround fadeaways and found his teammates in perfect position to either find the bottom of the net or draw fouls.
Defensively, it was more of the same.
Gasol was everywhere Kevin Durant went, as he forced him to go for fadeaways and floaters as opposed to his usual aggressive form of offense. When he was defending Perkins, however, Gasol was at his best.
Blocking two of Perk's shots, and picking both Durant and Kevin Martin's pockets displays how dominant Gasol was.
Kendrick Perkins, Oklahoma City Thunder: D
Kendrick Perkins drew a tough matchup with Marc Gasol, and he simply couldn't do anything to counter. Even as Perkins surprised us with his passing ability, he was a non-factor offensively and failed to slow Gasol down on defense.
It was a rough night for the former NBA champion.
Gasol exploited Perkins' lack of elite mobility, drawing him away from the basket and working out of the high post. Although Perkins did contest his field-goal attempts, the Memphis big man converted far too many looks.
When your job is to make defensive plays and you fail to do so, your grade will suffer.
On the offensive end, Perkins was unable to counter Gasol's production in any form or manner. He was swatted twice and converted just 1-of-6 from the field.
Perhaps no mistake was as costly as the mishandled inbound pass with less than one minute remaining.