Raptors’ Nick Nurse still undecided between Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol for starting center vs. Spurs
Marc Gasol has come off the bench in his first three games with the Toronto Raptors while the more tenured Serge Ibaka continues to start at center. According to Josh Lewenberg of TSN, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is still undecided on which of the two “Spaniards” to match up with LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
Nurse says Lowry, Green, Leonard and Siakam will start Friday vs San Antonio, still undecided between Ibaka and Gasol at C.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 21, 2019
While Ibaka will almost certainly be Toronto’s main starting center moving forward, Gasol could be appropriate as the starter for some matchups, and the Spurs are one of those matchups. The former historically struggled against Aldridge, so Nurse could opt for the latter’s defensive bulk.
Since being acquired by the Raptors from the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, Marc Gasol is averaging 10 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks over 20 minutes per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line.
On the season overall, the 34-year-old is registering 15.4 points, 8.5 boards, 4.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks across 33 minutes a night while making 44.6 percent of his field-goal attempts, 34.7 percent of his 3-point tries and 75.1 percent of his foul shots.
Serge Ibaka has started 46 of the 55 contests in which he has played for Toronto this year, recording 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks through 28.8 minutes per game, connecting on 52.7 percent of his shots, 25.9 percent of his long-distance attempts and 77.9 percent of his free throws.
The 29-year-old is in his second full season with the Raptors. He originally came over to Toronto in a trade with the Orlando Magic midway through the 2016-17 campaign.