Not a day goes by where I don’t hear, or read, someone talking about how skilled Pau Gasol is. Nearly everyone can agree that Pau is a very good passer for a big man, which he is. Likewise nearly everyone can agree that Pau is soft, he plays like a 6 foot guard underneath the basket, rather than the 7 foot PF/C he is. But, what people cannot agree on is whether or not it is time for the Los Angeles Lakers to part ways with Gasol. Here’s the short answer, yes it is.
Gasol has given Lakers fans worldwide the joy of 2 NBA titles, he was a key piece in winning back-to-back, and his contribution will never be forgotten. But Gasol has run his course with the Lakers, a tumultuous one, yet also a joyous one. The playoff battles against the Boston Celtics started off depressing, a loss in the Finals, and ended on a high note, with a game 7 win on the Lakers home-court.
But, for the Lakers organization the only thing that truly matters is results, and the Lakers and Pau Gasol are failing to produce them. Game after game the Lakers seem to lose to teams that they should be beating, like the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers. Additionally they have squandered games that they should have won, think the loss against the San Antonio Spurs, or the recent 4th quarter collapse to the Houston Rockets.
Personally I have never seen a guy that is never ready to receive the ball while in the post. I don’t know how many times I’ve counted that a Laker guard has driven the lane, drew Gasol’s defender with him, and then dished off to a wide open Gasol. Only to see the ball go right through his hands and out of bounds. What really amazes me is the amount of times that Gasol can go up for an easy dunk, opt for an easy lay-up instead, and wind up missing it. Nothing can ever just be simple with him.
Yes, the offense that Mike Brown had in place did not suit him, and the one that Mike D’Antoni is running really doesn’t either, but Gasol has to adjust. And that should be the tell-tale sign for the Lakers front-office, Gasol’s lack of adjustment. If he hasn’t adjusted to more perimeter looks, and the lack of post touches, it’s never going to happen.
The Lakers have already informed Gasol’s camp that if he is unable to adjust to the newly implanted D’Antoni offense they will have no choice but to seek a trade. General manager Mitch Kupchak has already turned down two teams offers for Gasol, and plans to give Gasol a fair chance of seeing what he can do while on the floor with Steve Nash. It may be a move that Kupchak ends up regretting.
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