Rarely – if ever – has a pair of brothers had as big an impact on fantasy hoops than Pau and Marc Gasol in the first week of the 2009-10 season. I don’t think fantasy basketball was big was Dominque and Gerald Wilkins played, the Barry brothers were never big fantasy assets, Horace and Harvey Grant were uninspiring and the O’Bannon’s were both flops.
But Pau Gasol entered this season as a highly-coveted second or third rounder and his younger brother Marc was a sure-fire late-rounder at a thin center position. Both have made some waves early in the season for opposite reasons.
Pau Gasol has missed the Los Angeles Lakers’ first two games with a hamstring injury and is reportedly frustrated with the lack of progress he is making in his recovery. He was projected to play 77 games this season and hamstring injuries have a way of lingering, so there is no telling how long it will take for him to be at full strength.
This is a huge issue for owners of Pau, who averages close to a double-double with excellent percentages. He’s also projected to hand out 3.5 assists per game – a stellar amount for a center-eligible player.
Pau is truly irreplaceable on a fantasy roster, although is absence has led to strong starts from both Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, both of whom are exceeding their projected value.
Meanwhile, Marc is averaging 19 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and one steal while shooting 65 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the line. It’s as if Pau transferred his abilities into the body of his younger sibling.
It’s too early to get overly excited. After all, Marc was projected to average 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds with 1.1 blocks. But he’s almost untradeable at this point because you just have to see where this thing goes.
On the downside, the human vortex of shot attempts known as Allen Iverson returned for the Grizzlies on Monday and is already complaining about playing time. No telling how that will affect the Memphis offense, but it’s a fair bet that a few of Marc’s opportunities will vanish as Iverson begins to get more touches.
Still, at this point in the season, Marc’s owners have to be optimistic while Pau’s owners are probably a little nervous.