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In Defense Of Pau Gasol


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#1 Showtime 2.0

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 11:31 AM

First and foremost I'd like to say congrats to him on being the 10th foreign born NBA player to reach 15k.

http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/34458/pau-gasol-reaches-15000-career-points

This is a positive Pau Gasol Topic Thread that does not involve him doing community/charity work.
Strictly basketball.

It still amazes me how much of the blame he gets in this forum for all of the Lakers woes. While some are warranted, others are simply undeserving or plain unfair. I'd like to give my 2 cents on the most common things I read from 99% of the fans in this forum that want him gone from the team.

1) Pau Gasol is overpaid.

Completely agree. 19 million a year for a 3rd/4th option is absurd under the new CBA. But the way it gets reiterated here makes it seem like the Lakers signed Pau to all this "undeserving", "Superstar" money a month ago. This was inked at the beginning of the 2010 season under the old CBA, which ended up in a championship. Money for the SECOND best player on a team that went to 3 straight Finals and won 2 of them back to back. Does his salary hurt us now? Not the way some of you can make it out to be. We're not the Bobcats. We have money.

None of us here knew he was going to be delegated to 4th in importance any more than you could have told me after we got eliminated by OKC last year that we were gonna have Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

Players have made more money or as much for doing way way less, It shouldn't be held against him. If they could re-structure contracts in the NBA, no doubt in my mind he will take less. But to thow it in his face for every bad play, bad rotation, or bad game? cmon son.


I have no excuse for his 2011 playoff performance, he sucked, period
but people forget he started that season averaging 25 points per game, making the All-Star team and All-NBA Second Team. But he played like a chump when it mattered, so okay, justified.

Everything else however, I will try to the best of my basketball knowldege to defend.

2) Pau Gasol shoots way too many jumpers.

Under Phil's Triangle, Pau was a post up player who was capable of knocking down jumpers from mid range. He was a perfect fit and as efficient a post scorer and passer as you could have back then. However, after our 2011 flameout, and Mike Brown installing an offense which featured Andrew Bynum down on the low block I mean...

What other shots could Gasol possibly get?

Elementary Science. Matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time. If Mike Brown, who is loathed more than Pau here for the way he utilizes players, designed the offense to run down low through Bynum, where else can he put Pau? off the bench? in favor of Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy? Do we tell Andrew Bynum to move out of the way for a couple of plays in the game?

Even now, you are gonna have Dwight down low all day while Gasol will be in the high post where those jumpers are available and where he can get his teammates better looks at the basket. While others see settling, and of course Pau does shoot mostly jumpers now, I see versatility. It's the reason you can play Pau with another Big because he can space the floor for them.


3) Pau Gasol should post up and take his man to the basket more.

Yeah, sometimes he does turn around fadeaways over a guy a foot shorter than him. But hey, these are isolated events that happen which gets overblown. Not every player makes the best decision at the best possible time he should. That's true for everybody. As if MWP and Kobe never take ill-advised shots. (Kobe has just been ridiculously effecient this season though) Gasol is not the featured player on the low block anymore (which is his strength as we saw in the 2012 Olympics again).

Driving and taking his man to the hoop was never his game so why expect him to do it? I don't.

Does it happen too much for my liking? Yeah, but please, dont berate him like he does nothing else for the team. He might not score as much and his FG% might be down from average, but his rebounds (9.9), assists (3.2), and blocks (1.4) are still there.

4) Pau Gasol is slow and a terrible defender.

Yes and Yes. He's basically a 5 now playing the 4 which defensively is not good because of how much smaller and quicker the NBA 4's are getting now. At his best, he is an average defender. He is slow AF. But dude don't blame Pau for every damn basket the opponent makes. All I ever read is he is soft, he gets punkd, or rotates late, which he is guilty of sometimes but hey there are 4 others guys playing with him and it happens to them too, but fans don't torch them for it because they are "aggressive" in demeanor.

This is a team game, everybody is responsible.

Our perimeter D aren't exactly made up of spry spring chickens and news flash: it is only going to get worse once Nash comes back.

5) Pau Gasol should come off the bench.

Why not? He's a team player, if that is what he is asks to do he will do it without too much of a fuss. That's what is great about him. But no it has not happened, because at no point in time did the coaching staff ever feel like Jordan Hill or Antawn Jamison will out produce him. You thought Pau was bad on D? Start Jamison. Jordan Hill, because of the way he produces, I can see why some fans want this but remember...

It's not your 5 best players, it's the 5 that play best together. Maybe JHill will grab more boards, but I highly doubt he will score any more than Pau does, and Gasol's passing will be missed. You'll see it if it happens.

Did I mention (knock on wood), that this guy is almost never hurt at 37 minutes a game for us? His numbers will get better. Count on it.

Bottomline,

Pau Gasol is still a fantastic player. He is unselfish to a fault, which I know frustrates us sometimes, but it's guys like him that are willing to embrace lesser roles that make teams great. Maybe he is overpaid for a 3rd/4th option, too slow to play Power Forward defensively, and is not aggressive enough for our liking but there is a chemistry on and off the court between him and Kobe that you cannot deny and I am starting to see it again this season. His versatility will make this work.

I didn't post this cause hes a "nice guy" either. I could care less.

I do believe with Pau Gasol, along with Kobe, Dwight, and Nash, this team will be something special.

If the Lakers decided to trade him tomorrow (Josh Smith, Bargnani, or whatever yall clamor for) for what they feel will be the betterment of the team, by all means. YouI will all be happy and I will accept it.

But right now, Pau Gasol is a Laker, one of my favorites, and I support him with all the purple and gold in me.

#2 Japago

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 11:45 AM

4) Pau Gasol is slow and a terrible defender.

Yes and Yes. He's basically a 5 now playing the 4 which defensively is not good because of how much smaller and quicker the NBA 4's are getting now. At his best, he is an average defender. He is slow AF. But dude don't blame Pau for every damn basket the opponent makes. All I ever read is he is soft, he gets punkd, or rotates late, which he is guilty of sometimes but hey there are 4 others guys playing with him and it happens to them too, but fans don't torch them for it because they are "aggressive" in demeanor.

This is a team game, everybody is responsible.

Our perimeter D aren't exactly made up of spry spring chickens and news flash: it is only going to get worse once Nash comes back.


This is why I think he needs to go regardless of how much his numbers improve. I don't think this can change much because it's partly a product of how the NBA teams are building their teams now.

He's just too slow to help on D or defend the smaller/quicker PFs. I think it can improve with better effort, but I don't think it can get to a point where it needs to be anymore.

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#3 Showtime 2.0

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 11:52 AM

This is why I think he needs to go regardless of how much his numbers improve. I don't think this can change much because it's partly a product of how the NBA teams are building their teams now.

He's just too slow to help on D or defend the smaller/quicker PFs. I think it can improve with better effort, but I don't think it can get to a point where it needs to be anymore.


I see your point and I agree defensively a faster player might make it better. However, I think with the hiring of Antoni being anything more than an average to good defensive team kind of went out the window don't you think?

As much as I hate to say it but the mantra is not to play great defense anymore, it's to get enough stops or stops at key moments to get Wins.

#4 Japago

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 12:00 PM

I see your point and I agree defensively a faster player might make it better. However, I think with the hiring of Antoni being anything more than an average to good defensive team kind of went out the window don't you think?

As much as I hate to say it but the mantra is not to play great defense anymore, it's to get enough stops or stops at key moments to get Wins.


I think it's the opposite actually. With a poor defensive coach, it's more needed to have players who can defend better because the team won't be able to hide players with good team defensive schemes.

No team can win without being able to play at least some defense.

Edited by Japago, November 19, 2012 - 12:01 PM.

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#5 Showtime 2.0

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 12:34 PM

I think it's the opposite actually. With a poor defensive coach, it's more needed to have players who can defend better because the team won't be able to hide players with good team defensive schemes.

No team can win without being able to play at least some defense.


Oh absolutely, defense is key, stops are key, especially come postseason.

at the moment we our 13th.
http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/defense-per-game

So we do play a semblance of defense. Could we be better? Yes. Also remember that defense starts in the perimeter.
My point being, Pau Gasol is not the main issue of us not being a top defensive team. We are serviceable.

Edited by Showtime 2.0, November 19, 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#6 Japago

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 12:47 PM

Oh absolutely, defense is key, stops are key, especially come postseason.

at the moment we our 13th.
http://espn.go.com/n...efense-per-game

So we do play a semblance of defense. Could we be better? Yes. Also remember that defense starts in the perimeter.
My point being, Pau Gasol is not the main issue of us not being a top defensive team. We are serviceable.


How else are the Lakers going to improve though?

Trading away Pau isn't necessarily saying that he's the biggest problem on the team. Part of it also is the fact that he's the only one who actually may be able to bring back a good player as well.

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#7 Windu

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 12:48 PM

yuck

Pau Gasol is GONE


#8 JSaber20

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 03:46 PM

Apparently he has problem with his elbow? I didn't know this.

Dave McMenamin@mcten
Pau showed us his elbow that he wears a sleeve over because of bursitis. It was bruised, red and swollen. He had it drained in the summer.


MDADefense_zpsb51f57fb.jpg


#9 underworldmike

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Posted November 19, 2012 - 08:01 PM

yuck


hahahahaha
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