Close Article Return to stream X
NBA

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol Key To A Win

+Read full article

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While many people have stated that a key to the Los Angeles Lakers getting back to the NBA Finals is the play of Pau Gasol, I have long stated the opposite. In order to win again, I have said that the Lakers need to rid themselves of Gasol, who’s play is rapidly declining. However, just for these last seven games at least, the Lakers need Pau Gasol more than ever.

In Gasol’s first two games back from injury, he averaged 5.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists in 21 minutes of play while shooting a measly 27.7 percent from the field. The Lakers went 0-2 in those games. Since that point, Gasol has been averaging 13.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists in 34 minutes of play and is shooting 54.2 percent from the field. The Lakers are 3-1 in those games.

When Gasol shows glimpses of the player he once was, and the Lakers have a solid effort from Kobe Bryant, it usually equates to Laker wins. On Friday, the Lakers will take on a team in the Memphis Grizzlies. They are one of the best in the NBA in defense, and they will be keying on Bryant and Dwight Howard. This is a perfect time for the older Gasol brother to shine.

Gasol’s younger brother, Marc Gasol, will not need any extra motivation in a game of this sort, but Pau might. It seems that when Laker fans begin to put their hopes in seeing the old Gasol return, he lets them down. Lapses in play from Pau have doomed the Lakers time and again, most famously last season when Gasol had multiple turnovers in a playoff game in Oklahoma City. A game in which the Lakers could have won if not for Gasol’s poor plays.

What Laker fans have seen most recently from Pau may wind up being a total mirage which may not last through the playoffs. However, his play will be key for a Lakers win tonight. If Pau can put up a solid line of 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, the Lakers will win tonight’s game by double digits.

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @NBAINSIDERINFO

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Ryan Anderson Throws Down Savage Dunk On Kobe Bryant

Although Kobe would get the last laugh with the win, his second great performance and the Lakers notched back-to-back wins for just the second time this season, that doesn't stop this Ryan Anderson dunk from being any less disrespectful. The Mamba is in a retirement year, man, let him go out with his dignity still in tact.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Kobe Bryant Rejects Roy Hibbert's High-5 Attempt

Things didn't go swimmingly for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls, as they played horribly and lost by 23 points. Kobe Bryant clearly wasn't pleased. When teammate Roy Hibbert attempted to give Bryant a casual high-five, it didn't go over well as an angered Bryant slapped it away in defiance.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Watch Derrick Rose's Behind-The-Back Pass

Injuries have become a recurring theme in Derrick Rose's career, but his behind-the-back dime Thursday night shows what he can do when healthy.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Pau Gasol Puts "Shake and Bake" On Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls squared off on Thursday night, so naturally all eyes were on former teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The two had a nice embrace prior to opening whistle, but it was strictly business once the game got started. Don't believe me? Just check out this "Shake and Bake" executed to perfection by Gasol.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Dirk Nails Game-Winner, Gets Love From Kobe

Kobe Bryant wasn't able to lace up for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but he still managed to make the highlight reels on multiple occasions. After Dirk Nowitzki nailed what turned out to be the game-winning jumper, he stumbled backward into Bryant and received a pat of approval. This encounter is the definition of the saying 'game recognizes game' as the two players are both legends and future Hall of Famers.

Comment 0 Comments