Gasol says high playoff hopes made move to Toronto easier


However, before he could play a single game, Gasol's draft rights were traded as part of a package for his older brother.

He had to get his affairs in order, join the Raptors in NY, and attempt to soak up as much information as possible ahead of Toronto's clash with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds in 22-minutes off the bench.

Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals in 53 appearances this season.

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"That gets your juices going and makes you real excited", Gasol continued.

For the first time in his career, Gasol is coming off the bench for a Raptors team that's stacked with talent. And ESPN reported Monday afternoon that sharpshooter Jeremy Lin, who scorched the Raptors with a buzzer-beating three in his breakout 2011-12 season, is en route to Toronto.

"We were playing in NY and you could already feel that energy", Gasol said. Either way, he's aware of the history players like Calderon and Spanish Federation president Jorge Garbajosa had with the organization, which now features national team head coach Sergio Scariolo, a first-year Nick Nurse assistant and big man Serge Ibaka, who plays internationally for Spain and has done so alongside Gasol and his brother Pau. The three-time All-Star was a stalwart of Memphis' "Grit and Grind" era that saw the club make seven straight playoff appearances, including the Western Conference final in the 2012-13 season.

Based on his performance, it didn't appear to concern him very much at all. Gasol was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. "Memphis fans - we get some fans in the stands - but not as many as you guys, or "us" now".