Did you realize that Marcin Gortat is basically averaging a double-double this season (16 points and 9.9 rebounds per game)? That he’s the Suns leader in points, rebounds and blocks and that he’s second only to Steve Nash (21.5 to 21.3) in PER? That he’s fifth in the league in field goal percentage? That he’s a top five center this season, even though he didn’t make the All-Star Game?
All of those things are true, but they apparently mean nothing to Tristan Thompson. From the AP:
“[Gortat] ate us alive,” Scott said. “I don’t know if Tristan didn’t know that much about him or if he didn’t realize that the guy is a pretty good player. Gortat has been playing well all season long.”
He’s right. For evidence, re-read the first paragraph. Marcin Gortat is legit, but no one knows about it because he’s playing on a team that was most notable for not trading their best player until this recent stretch after the All-Star Game. Now that they’re on a roll — six wins in their last eight games and 11-4 since the February break — more people will probably realize Marcin Gortat is more than just a gigantic nose and a Jordan tattoo.
For his part, Gortat was pretty low-key about scoring the game’s first 10 points and dominating the three quarters it took for the Suns to blow out the Cavs.
“It was cool,” he said. “It’s always fun when you’re rolling like that. I could have had an easy 30 if I had executed better. My teammates found me, and I was happy I had some post-ups today.”
Ha. “It was cool.” That’s just about the most laid-back thing you can say after a great game. Maybe “That was neat” or “‘Twas a swell performance” would be just as nonchalant, but no one in the NBA would seriously say that unless they were my grandma. Gortat’s reaction is perfect. He liked scoring his points, but it’s no big deal. Could have had more if he wouldn’t have been such a knucklehead. Ho-hum, just 10 straight to start the game.
Or maybe, just maybe, he’s trying to slow play this. If he doesn’t draw any attention to it, maybe he’ll run in to a few more players who don’t know who he is, just like Tristan Thompson. Then he can take advantage of them, own another game and offer some hilariously understated quotes about his great line. Long cons are complicated to pull off, but they’re totally worth it.