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Kyle Lowry says trade for Marc Gasol brought Raptors’ ‘IQ to another level’

Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Raptors

Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry says the trade which brought veteran center Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies to Toronto took the team’s “IQ to another level.”

Gasol is one of the best passing big men in NBA history. He’s not as dominant as he used to be in terms of scoring, but the Raptors have benefited from his playoff experience, rebounding and overall smart play.

“We’ve honestly got a bunch of professionals,” Lowry told Michael Lee of The Athletic. “The trade for Marc brought the IQ to another level. It just kind of helped everyone understand. Marc plays extremely smart. Marc plays extremely hard and when you’ve got a guy back there manning your line, it makes things a lot easier.”

Gasol is averaging 8.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the 2019 playoffs. He’s shooting 40.8 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from beyond the arc and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line.

In the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, Gasol is putting up 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. The Raptors have an offensive rating of 110.8 in the playoffs when the Spanish big man is on the court. That rating drops to 105.1 when Gasol is on the bench, per Basketball Reference.

The Raptors are one win away from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Game 6 is on Saturday up in Toronto.