Raptors reportedly acquired Marc Gasol with DeMarcus Cousins matchup in mind
DeMarcus Cousins is questionable for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and seems like a good bet to play at some point in the series, but that should not intimidate the Toronto Raptors. After all, they did begin preparing to face him nearly four months ago.
The Raptors made a major move to bolster their frontcourt when they acquired Marc Gasol at the trade deadline back in February, and Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports that they made that deal with a potential finals matchup against the Warriors in mind. More specifically, they believed Gasol would help them contain Cousins.
Gasol, the 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is averaging 8.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in the playoffs so far. He averaged 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game during the regular season, so he clearly makes a significant impact. Cousins probably will not be his usual self as he continues to recover from a torn quad muscle, but the Raptors have a much better chance of limiting his impact now that they have Gasol.
From the Warriors’ perspective, getting Cousins back would basically be a bonus. They have already shown that they can dominate without him, and they have overcome one of the most significant injuries of the year to get to the point that they are at now. Even if Gasol goes toe-to-toe with Cousins, we all know Golden State can beat you a number of different ways.