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Marc Gasol is bigger than brother Pau, but his game still has room for growth

Pau Gasol and the Lakers get the best of Marc and the Grizzlies, 124-105. But Marc, the younger of the brothers, notes: 'I keep progressing.'

November 03, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Marc Gasol understood what Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was doing.

Gasol knew the jab Jackson threw at his older brother, Lakers center Pau Gasol, was done to make him "motivated" when the two faced off against each other Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Jackson lauded Marc, saying the Memphis Grizzlies center is "tougher, more powerful, more physical" than Pau and that the Lakers perhaps "traded the wrong guy."

Marc had not heard about Jackson's comments until they were shared with him.

"He likes to make Pau a little angry," Marc said. "We all know Phil good. For a long time, he likes to make comments. I'm sure it's just to make Pau a little more motivated."

At 7-1, 265 pounds, Marc said it's no secret he has the size and strength over the 7-0, 250-pound Pau.

"It's not a lie that I'm a stronger guy than Pau," Marc said. "There's nothing wrong with that. Pau has many other skills that I don't have yet. We both know where our strengths and weaknesses are and we try to use them the right way."

The Lakers acquired Pau in February of 2008 from Memphis in exchange for the rights to Marc, who was the Lakers' second-round draft pick in 2007, along with Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton and two first-round draft picks.

Marc is more of a low-point player. Pau is more skilled and able to score from inside and outside.

"Marc pounds on Pau, as we've talked about before," Jackson said. "He's a terrific rebounder and passer inside."

As for the game, Pau got the best of his younger brother in two ways.

The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies, 124-105, and Pau had a better stat line.

He scored 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out five assists in 29 minutes.

Marc had 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes.

By the way, Pau wasn't conceding that Marc is stronger.

"I don't know," Pau said. "We never actually got in the weight room and see who lifts more."

There were times when the Lakers sent double teams at Marc, apparently trying to help out Pau down low against his brother.

But there were more than enough moments when Pau and Marc went one-on-one against each other, just as they did in the summer back home in Barcelona, Spain, when the team got ready for training camp.

The big moment belonged to Pau when he drove baseline and dunked over Marc in the third quarter, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Pau entered the game averaging 25.3 points, tops on the team, 10.3 rebounds, second-best on the team, and 5.0 assists, also tops on the team.

That's not enough to satisfy Jackson?

"I didn't say it didn't satisfy me," Jackson said. "I just said his brother is going to beat the [stuffing] out of him. He always does. That's like the little brother coming up and beating up on the big brother. He just wants to get in there and pound away at him."

Marc has been in the NBA for three seasons.

He has worked hard at improving his game.

Many consider him one of the better centers in the league.

"I keep progressing," Marc said. "I know I'm not at my top yet. I think I can do a lot better. That's what the offseason is for, to work on your game. I'm really looking forward to getting better during the season and lot more during the offseason."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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