As we all know, Pau Gasol hasn’t been his usual dominating self as of late. With his latest ailment being a concussion, Gasol has missed the past 5 games and is unsure of when his return will be. Fortunately all is not lost for the All-Star as Steve Nash has recently said he’d like to get Gasol more involved in the Lakers offense.
Nash had this to say regarding Gasol
“I’m going to try to get Pau involved,” Nash said. “Obviously, I think he’s a terrific player. I think when we played together recently, there was a lot of opportunities where (the defense) would jump out on my pick-and-rolls, I’d get it back to him quickly. He can be the playmaker in 4-on-3, 3-on-2 situations where he really thrives. The fact of the matter, it’s tough to get inside to him when Dwight and him are on the floor together. To Pau’s credit, he can stretch the floor more than Dwight and he’s more of a playmaker, so sometimes he’s going to find himself on the perimeter.”
I miss the Pau that averaged 18 PPG and 11 RPG back in 2009-2010. This season he’s but a shadow of his former self averaging 12 PPG and 8 RPG. Pau is full of potential, he’s just in a system that doesn’t necessarily fit his style of play. Nash hopes to fix that upon his return and get Gasol back to his old self.
“I think Pau is a tremendous basketball player,” Nash said. “I need to see him get his health and his confidence back. Even when he has been inside this year he hasn’t looked very confident. For me, I really want to see him really feel better physically, mentally, confident and enjoy the game because I don’t know if he’s been himself this year. If we can get him back to himself, it doesn’t matter where he plays. He’ll be great.”
Nash see’s it as a difficult task to get Pau the ball down low when Howard is also on the court, but he knows Pau can stretch the floor better than Howard and is quite frankly a better passer. This news is only good, as it looks like Nash hasn’t forgotten about Gasol and would like to see him thrive like he used to. It’s just a matter of time until we see if Nash’s magic will work on Gasol or if he will continue to struggle in the D’Antoni style offense.