Marc Gasol on Recovering From Triple-Overtime Loss: “As Long as We Win the Next One, We’re Going to be OK”

May 11, 2011 – 6:30 am by Eric Schmoldt

The Memphis Grizzlies played in one of the most thrilling NBA Playoffs games ever on Monday night. After blowing an early double-digit lead in the Game 4 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Grizzlies aren’t too eager to reflect on how memorable of a game it was, even for the losing team. No reast for the weary either. In a playoff schedule seemingly laden with unnecessary off days, Memphis got exactly one day off before preparing to lace it up for Game 5 Wednesday night on the road in Oklahoma City.

Marc Gasol, who scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a whopping 57 minutes,  said he felt just fine on Tuesday as the team loaded up and headed back out on the road. However, the magnitude of Game 5 Wednesday night was hardly lost on him. Gasol knows that the Grizzlies need the game tonight to get back on track. If any team can rebound from such a crushing defeat, it seems to be them. Up 3-1 against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, they lost a similarly heartbreaking game in overtime when they had a chance to put the series away. Nonetheless, they won the next game to move on to the Conference Semifinals. They’ll need a similar performance tonight.

Marc Gasol joined The Jim Rome Show to discuss his physical health after the long game Monday night, what it was like to be involved in such a crazy and emotional game, how a team comes back from a crushing defeat like that, whether the team might be putting excess pressure on itself to win Game 5 after that kind of loss, if he felt like his team let off the gas after going up big early on and his recent discussions with brother Pau of the recently swept Lakers.

How does he feel after scoring 26 points and grabbing 21 rebounds in 57 minutes of action during the triple-overtime loss?:

“I feel OK, ready to go. I feel great, actually. … We left the arena at 1:30 a.m. last night and Coach gave us the morning off. We’re going to watch tape and do a little walk-through when we get to [Oklahoma City].”

What was it like to play in that crazy game?:

“It was a lot easier to play and be on the court than watch it, I guess. It was a lot more emotional because you couldn’t do anything about it. … It was a big game and a lot of big shots were made and in the third overtime I think they did a great job of executing.”

How do you bounce back from a game like that?:

“We understand that we take it one game at a time. Against San Antonio, when we lost that heartbreaking game, they beat us and that game is over and we had other goals to reach. … As long as we win the next one, we’re going to be OK.”

That said, do you go into Game 5 thinking about how crucial it is or try to make it like any other game?:

“Honestly, like I told you, I would believe the next game is the most important game. … You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You always got to play the next game like it’s your last. And that’s how we’re going to do it. We’re going to play it like that. We’re going to play it like it’s any other game and, honestly, it’s a big game, but nobody’s asking us to do anything different than we’ve done all year.”

When the Grizzlies were up 18, did they take their foot off the gas pedal?:

“They did a good job of going small and getting us out of our routine and our game. They wiped the paint, they were fronting in the post, they were making us make shots from the outside.”

Did he get any tips from brother Pau on what to expect in the playoffs?:

“No, Pau knows that I watch and I’ve played many big games in my life. If you approach every game like it’s a big game and you have a routine and you do the same thing over and over, you feel like you’re going to be OK at any level.”

Has he spoken to his brother since the Lakers were swept?:

“Yeah, of course. … He obviously didn’t play as well as he wanted to play. … Honestly, I’m too focused on my team and my teammates to worry about some other team.”

Listen to Marc Gasol on The Jim Rome Show here

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