April 22, 2019
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Gasol pinpoints Raptors' defense as its strength ahead of Magic clash

Toronto, Canada, Apr 12 (efe-epa).- Spaniard Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors today pinpointed the defense of his team as its biggest strength just 24 hours before facing the Orlando Magic in the first game of the NBA playoffs.

Gasol told reporters after a training session at OVO Athletic Centre that they're "all going to have to be locked in defensively and that's something we can rely on (in) this team."

"Everybody's mindset, defensively, is on the same page and I think it's one of our biggest strengths," he said.

When asked about the most important aspects of the playoffs, Gasol highlighted discipline and preparation.

"Concentration, discipline, staying locked in. I think there’s not as much things out of control in the playoffs - everything is pre-predicted - you can understand what the other team is trying to do in their possession," he said.

"You have a lot of time to talk about it with your teammates and coaches, so preparation obviously, is key. You understand how the other team is going to play you in game one, first possession, second possession, and then, the adjustment they make, the adjustment you make. And just battle. Go out there, play with a mindset of going out there and be aggressive on both ends of the floor. And let the best team win," he added.

Gasol said the Orlando Magic is a good team and that the game will be "fun."

"They are a good team. They are very long, athletic, they disrupt a lot of things in the paint. So we have to be ready to attack once, twice, maybe three times and get ready to take the open shot," he said.

On the pivot Nikola Vucevic, one of the most outstanding players in the Magic, the Spanish player said he has the "complete package.”

"He can drive right, obviously, because he’s right-handed, but goes left just as well… shoots the ball from deep, mid-range… rebounds the ball, unselfish, really good screener," he said.

The Spaniard said he is having fun in the Raptors.

"For me having fun is not laughing and smiling and throwing up 25 shots. To me having fun is doing your job, it’s making your team be the best out there and winning games, that's what's fun for me. It’s creating a good game plan, going out there and executing and not allowing the other team to do what they want to do,” he said.

"Being in a team like this which allows you to do those things, and everybody being on the same page, it's really fun.”

jcr/jsg/tw

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