Raptors hit with injuries to Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell

The Toronto Raptors just got hit with a series of injuries:

Marc Gasol sustained a strained left hamstring in the first quarter of play Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Detroit. He was reevaluated on Thursday and it was determined he will be out indefinitely.

With 6:47 to play in the fourth quarter, Pascal Siakam sustained a stretched groin after an awkward landing. He was evaluated Thursday and will be listed as out indefinitely.

Norman Powell left the same game with 3:17 to play in the fourth quarter after a collision with another player. After testing in Toronto on Thursday, it was determined he had sustained a subluxation of the left shoulder. He will also be out indefinitely.

Per the Toronto Star, “every time it has appeared Toronto was about to get healthy this season, another player or two has gone down. First it was Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Then it was VanVleet. This latest setback could be the most difficult one to overcome yet as it takes away the Raptors’ leading scorer in Siakam, the recently surging Powell and Gasol, who has been a lockdown defender in the post.”

All three players will be reevaluated in the coming weeks.

The fascinating matchup of Joel Embiid vs. Marc Gasol

On Sunday, the Sixers, playing at home in Philly, handled the Raptors, 110-104.

In the win, Tobias Harris scored 26 points, Matisse Thybulle added 20 off the bench, and Ben Simmons put up 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Sixers center Joel Embiid had a rough day, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds, and six assists — but seven turnovers.

In the loss, Kyle Lowry scored 26, while starting center Marc Gasol had a miserable statline of 0 for 6 shooting, 0 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.

But the Embiid vs Gasol matchup is fascinating. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting, prior to today’s game:

In six regular-season games between the two bigs, only one of them since Gasol became a Raptor, Embiid has shot just 29% against Gasol’s defence. In the past three regular-season meetings, not including last night’s game, Embiid is a combined 8-for-39 against Gasol including that 0-for-11 in the only previous meeting this year when Embiid didn’t even get one from the free throw line where he was 0-for-3 for the first, and probably last, scoreless game of his NBA career.

The Sixers and Raptors are right next to each other in the East standings, and their records could be close all season. This will be worth paying attention to, right through the postseason.


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Marc Gasol has season-ending foot surgery

Marc Gasol has season-ending foot surgery

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol underwent successful surgery on Saturday, Feb. 20 to repair a non-displaced Type II fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot.

Although Marc will not return to the court this season, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The surgery was performed by foot and ankle specialists Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina and Dr. Drew Murphy of Campbell Clinic.

“Marc remains a cornerstone of our franchise and we are pleased to hear that the surgery went according to plan,” Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace said. “Marc’s determination and competitive spirit will serve him, his family and the team well as he begins the healing and rehab process from which we expect him to make a full recovery. We are confident we will have Marc back anchoring our team next season and beyond.”

Gasol left in the first quarter of the game on Feb. 8 vs. Portland with the injury.

Grizzlies re-sign Marc Gasol

Grizzlies re-sign Marc Gasol

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that the team has re-signed center Marc Gasol to a multi-year contract. According to the Associated Press, it is “a five-year maximum contract worth more than $100 million.”

“Re-signing Marc Gasol was the No. 1 priority for our organization this offseason,” General Manager Chris Wallace said. “For many years, Marc has been a pillar of our franchise and in a Memphis community that has watched him become one of the best basketball players in the world, so this is a great day for our team, our city and our fans across the Mid-South and worldwide.”

Last season, Gasol (7-1, 255) averaged a career-high 17.4 points on 49.4 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.62 blocks in 33.2 minutes in 81 games (all starts), guiding Memphis to 55 wins and a fifth consecutive appearance in the NBA Playoffs. He averaged 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.73 blocks in 11 postseason games in leading Memphis to the Western Conference Semifinals for the third time in franchise history.

The 30-year-old scored 30-or-more points five times, including a career-high 33 points in the regular season finale on April 15 vs. Indiana, after doing so just once in his first six NBA seasons. Gasol continued to display his all-around versatility and was the only player in the league with at least 1,300 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists.

During his career year, Gasol was named a starter in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game and was selected to the 2015 All-NBA First Team, becoming the first player in franchise history to be honored as either an All-Star starter or a member of the All-NBA First Team. He became one of just three second round draft picks since the NBA-ABA merger to make an All-NBA First Team (Dennis Johnson in 1981; Mark Price in 1993).

Gasol has accumulated many “firsts” over his first seven years with the Grizzlies organization. Gasol was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the All-NBA Second Team in 2013. He is the only player in club history to be recognized on either the All-NBA First Team or Second Team or to be named to multiple All-NBA Teams. Among his accolades, he is a two-time All-Star (2012, 2015) and one of just two Grizzlies (Zach Randolph in 2010 and 2013) to appear in multiple All-Star Games. In addition, he has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2013) and NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2009) as well as Western Conference Player of the Week in January 2012.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 48th overall pick in the second round in the 2007 NBA Draft, Gasol owns career averages of 14.1 points on 50.9 percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.55 blocks in 33.7 minutes in 517 games (510 starts) over seven seasons with the Grizzlies. Memphis acquired his draft rights from Los Angeles in a package for his older brother Pau Gasol on Feb. 1, 2008. The Barcelona native played high school ball in Memphis for Lausanne while Pau played for the Grizzlies and was named the MVP of the Spanish ACB league as a member of Akasvayu Girona before signing with Memphis prior to the 2008-09 season.

In the Grizzlies’ career record books, Gasol ranks first in defensive rebounds (3,003); second in games played (517), games started (510), minutes played (17,399), field goal percentage (.509) and blocks (802); third in free throws made (1,787) and attempted (2,359), offensive rebounds (1,066) and total rebounds (4,069); fourth in assists (1,552); and fifth in points (7,285) and steals (477). He set the single-season franchise record for field goal percentage by shooting 58.1 percent in 2009-10.

Marc Gasol injured with MCL sprain in his left knee

Marc Gasol injured with MCL sprain in his left knee

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that center Marc Gasol underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which revealed a MCL sprain in his left knee. He will be out indefinitely and no surgery will be required.

Gasol (7-1, 265), who sustained the injury in the second quarter last night against San Antonio, was evaluated at the Campbell Clinic today by team physician Dr. Fred Azar.

The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol ranked second on the Grizzlies in scoring, rebounding and assists and led the team in blocks entering the game against the Spurs. The 2012 All-Star and 2012-13 Second Team All-NBA center has missed just four games dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, playing and starting in 239 of a possible 243 regular season contests.