With Spurs, Gasol adds 3s to game

Published March 29, 2017

When Pau Gasol was languishing in Memphis early in his career, when he was winning championships in Los Angeles and when he was on a two-year layover in Chicago, there was always the feeling that he would be the perfect fit for the Spurs.

The Spurs have long had a reputation for favoring versatile, playmaking international players, and Gasol's name belongs near the very top when discussing the most impactful Europeans to come to the NBA.

In their first season together, Gasol, 36, has been everything the Spurs expected, and more. The Spaniard's scoring and rebounding has been there as usual.

But he has also added the 3-point shot to his arsenal, adapting to the changing demands on big men in this pace-and-space era while opening things up for LaMarcus Aldridge in the paint.

"I'm trying to survive in this league that is evolving continuously," Gasol said after the Spurs beat the Kings last week.

Gasol is taking 3.1 3-pointers per 100 possessions this season, more than double the number of attempts he put up with the Bulls last season.

In his first 14 seasons in the league, Gasol only averaged more than 0.6 3s per 100 possessions one time.

Gasol is shooting 53.5 percent from 3-point range this season, and 60.5 percent in 17 games he has played since returning from a broken left hand on Feb. 24.