What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Grizzlies

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Robin Lopez vs. Marc Gasol

Over the course of this year, Robin Lopez has been characterized as a fan favorite and a missing piece in the Trail Blazers lineup. He has played so well, and so consistently, that now as the season winds down he deserves another label: One of the best centers in the league this season. And he has the stats to prove it. Lopez ranks in the top 10 in two critical categories for post players, field goal shooting (8th, 54.7%) and blocked shots (9th, 1.73), both of which are career bests in what has been a career year. Consider this: Lopez has 12 career games of 14 or more rebounds – and 11 of those have come with Portland in 2013-14. If not for injury, Memphis center Marc Gasol would be among those considered the best during the year at this position – again. Gasol has been remarkably consistent in his six-year NBA career, averaging better than 11 points and seven rebounds in every campaign. And even though injuries have limited the former All-Star and NBA Defensive Player of the Year to fewer than 50 games this season, he is as much of a threat on any given night as ever. Gasol demonstrated that much in Portland’s visit to Memphis on March 11, when the 7-footer from Spain notched 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists when these teams met last.

Robin Lopez

• Posting career highs in rebounds (8.5), blocks (1.73) and free throw percentage (81.4%) this season
• Ranks eighth in the NBA in field goal shooting (54.7%) and ninth in blocks (1.73) this year
• Recorded 11 games in 2013-14 with 14-plus rebounds after entering the season with one such game in his career

Marc Gasol

• Averaged at least 11 points and seven rebounds in each of his six NBA seasons
• Led the Grizzlies with 19 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists in the last meeting between these teams at Memphis on March 11
• Named a 2012 NBA All-Star and the 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year