The departure of C Dwight Howard from the Los Angles Lakers once again left PF Paul Gasol in full control of the paint in Hollywood. Gasol had career-lows across the board last season and it caused him to be somewhat undervalued in fantasy basketball drafts this fall.
In the first game of the season, though, Gasol looked very determined to put last year behind him. He almost had a double-double in the first half (13 Points/ 9 boards) of the season-opener versus the Los Angeles Clippers and was constantly extending the floor for the Lakers. The power forward finished the game with 15 points, 13 boards, four dimes, and one three-pointer.
Gasol didn’t produce the same jaw-dropping stat line in the team’s second contest, but he was just as involved in the offensive game plan. Gasol finished with a team-high 12 points, seven rounds, three assists, and one block. He has also been a perfect 6-6 from the line this season, which is critical in any type of roto-league.
Gasol is winning every board this season, but more importantly, the ball is touching his hands every time down the court. The team knows that without SG Kobe Bryant in the lineup, they need Gasol to be the focal point of the team, and so far he has embraced the role.
Gasol is primed to have another All-Star campaign this year and will end up being one of the best sleepers from this year’s draft. He will always be good for double-digit points and the lack of competition on the depth chart will help him lead the Lakers in rebounding every night.