Most recently I have written a few articles detailing how the Los Angeles Lakers could benefit from the improved play of Pau Gasol. But, I also wrote of the negative side of the enigma Lakers fans know as, Pau Gasol. Right when you start to gain trust in Gasol, he reverts to the soft player that, on the inside, he truly is.
Gasol played well Sunday, totaling 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. But the collective effort of Gasol and Dwight Howard in boxing out Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan was pathetic. When you have two of the best rebounding big men in the NBA there is no reason to get out rebounded 50-36…no reason.
Gasol and Howard shared the duty of guarding Griffin and Jordan throughout the game, and allowed the Los Angeles Clippers two big men to control the game. Now while most of the blame for the Lakers lack of rebounding should go on Howard, (only four in the game) he did have 25 points, while Gasol had only 12.
If Gasol is the type of player that everyone keeps saying he is, a skilled low-post big man with a plethora of nifty moves, why can’t he score 20 a night? Yes Gasol’s play has decreased with the increase in age and wear and tear, but he is still capable of putting up those types of numbers. How do I know this? Because Lakers fans and myself included have seen him do it time and again.
There are nights where Gasol comes out and you know the opposing defender is in for a rough night, because Pau is on his game. Then there are other nights where Gasol can’t hit anything, looks horrible on defense, and gets taken out of the game completely. The Lakers already have two key players that are inconsistent (Steve Nash and Dwight Howard), they don’t need another one.
When the Lakers made their run to the NBA Finals, winning two out of three, it was because of the elevated level of play of Gasol along with the stellar, consistent output from Kobe Bryant. Bryant is still playing at that sort of level, why can’t Gasol?
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