Raptors news: Nick Nurse hasn't decided on starting lineup after Marc Gasol acquisition, expected to keep rotations 'fluid'
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Nick Nurse hasn’t decided on Raptors starting lineup after Marc Gasol acquisition, expected to keep rotations ‘fluid’

Raptors, Nick Nurse, Marc Gasol

Newly-acquired big man Marc Gasol scored seven points and six rebounds as a reserve in his Toronto debut, but Raptors head coach Nick Nurse hasn’t set his starting lineup in stone just yet, according to a report from Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.

The Raptors dealt for Gasol just before this season’s trade deadline. The Spanish-born center spent the previous 11 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he became a fan favorite.

Gasol, 34, is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. He usually serves as a starter, but Nurse noted that his debut game as a reserve was more about “easing him in.”

Nurse also noted that Toronto’s frontcourt rotation could stay “fluid” until they sort out their best options.

In total, Gasol logged 19 minutes against the Knicks, scoring seven points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field, six rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block.

The Raptors (41-16 and 1st in the Atlantic Division standings) have pushed most of their chips to the center of the table this season. The team’s goal is clear, according to Gasol:

“The mindset is all in,” Gasol told ESPN after Saturday night’s 104-99 victory over the New York Knicks. “It’s a clear goal, it’s one goal and that’s to play for a championship.”

Gasol has already impressed several of his new teammates, including Danny Green and Fred VanVleet.

“He can score, but he’s not a guy that’s looking to score,” Green told CBS Sports. “He’s looking to play basketball the right way.”

VanVleet, who scored five points and six assists in Saturday’s game against the Knicks, had high praise for Gasol’s passing skills:

“Man, he’s just a pleasure to play with as a point guard,” VanVleet said. “He’s a big point guard out there. He’s super smart — obviously, we knew that, but to see it up close and just to see his reads and his unselfishness and just the way he moves the ball was really fun.”

Gasol and the Raptors will look to keep their momentum rolling on Monday night, when they’ll welcome the Brooklyn Nets to town.