Gasol, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has appeared in 13 games this season and is averaging a career-high 16 points and 4.3 assists per game. His usage rate (22.1) is also the highest of his career.
The 7-foot Spaniard anchored the NBA's second-best defense last season, and Memphis has struggled on that end of the floor in his absence this season. With Gasol, Memphis posted a 7-6 record to start the season. Without him, it is just 10-14 and currently out of a playoff spot.
This season, Memphis' defensive rating is 107, its worst mark since the 2009-10 season. That number should drop once Gasol gets some games under him.