Suki Thind: Pau needs to get back in the low post and create offense for himself and others. He hasn’t looked too confident this season, but we all know the kind of player he can be when he’s in a groove down low. When posting up, Pau usually has the advantage against opposing teams’ defenses. When Pau exploits those advantages, he adds a key element to the Lakers — one that helped bring them two titles.
When he gets into the post, Pau must attack quickly and aggressively. Nobody expects him to overpower some of the bigger guys in the league, but he can certainly find ways to create offense. I recall last summer when Pau referred to himself as a “beast” during the 2012 Olympics due to his strength and conditioning regimen, and he played very well. But, being delegated to a stretch four and bench player at times last season didn’t allow Pau to display his effectiveness in the post.
The bottom line is that Pau must work on his strength and conditioning and be ready to battle with the centers of this league on a daily basis. Physicality certainly comes harder for Pau than other centers, but when he does get down and dirty, he’s been extremely effective in the past. The saying goes “be careful what you wish for,” and Pau wished to play as the primary center on this team. Now, he has to deliver and show that he can once again be an effective player in the post.
Ryan Ward: Hesitation. Pau Gasol is a dominant force in the paint when fully engaged, but struggles when he hesitates once getting the basketball.
Gasol is infamous for not making a move immediately after receiving the basketball. When Pau gets the ball and immediately pulls up for the shot or makes his way to the basket with a post move, the two-time NBA champion is extremely tough to defend.
At this point in time, unless Gasol can turn it around while Kobe Bryant is still rehabbing, the writing seems to be on the wall in terms of his future with the Lakers. Gasol is in the last year of his deal with Los Angeles and the team may be forced to trade him or simply let him walk in free agency due to the lack of consistency.
Ramneet Singh: Pau Gasol has been criticized many times before for being too “soft” in the paint and there is some truth to that label. Although Gasol is one of the most skilled big men in the league, there are times when he does not fully utilize his strengths.
The best and perhaps only way Gasol can be more effective on the offensive end, is to become more aggressive. What made him so lethal for the Lakers during the championship runs was when he posted up his opponents and found a way to score by the basket or a few feet out for a mid-range jumper.
Gasol still has the skill set to be a dominant low post player but it is up to him to get back that killer mentality. This season, the Spaniard has shown glimpses of greatness and for the most part he has been the most consistent player on the team, but the Lakers need to have Gasol back to his regular form. It is imperative that he continues to attack the paint and knock down his shots from the wing.
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