Tom Thibodeau may not be Pau Gasol’s coach anymore, but the big man seems to still be playing by his former coach’s rules.
Gasol is one of only two NBA players participating in Eurobasket, the other being his Bulls teammate Nikola Mirotic.
The aging Gasol didn’t hold anything back, playing 31 minutes and going against the advice from the team’s medical staff During Spain’s game against Poland over the weekend.
Pau Gasol was in pain just before the start of the game against Poland and he had to run to the locker rooms in order to get medical treatment. However, this was the start of an amazing story. As Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo revealed in the press conference: The doctors told me that Pau couldn’t play more than five minutes straight. But after the first five minutes, when I asked him to come to bench he told me now. I will take the risk, he answered me and he had an amazing game.
On the surface, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Gasol made it through the game without a major incident and played at a high level, scoring 30 points and going six for seven from three-point range.
However, starting the season hot has never been an issue for Gasol. As was proven last year, the grind of the season wears on the 35-year-old. He was far from the same player at the end of last year as when it started.
The Bulls will bring back a strong, but aging frontcourt this season. An injury to Gasol could be big trouble for their season outlook.
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