The loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night marks Pau Gasol’s seventh straight game with 20 or more points, although, it seems as if he is still not getting the recognition he deserves. Despite Gasol continuing to put up solid numbers, his steady performance seems to always be clouded by the Lakers lackluster season.
Amidst all of the trade rumors, injuries and illness, Gasol has been consistently playing above average. He’s had 21 double-doubles this season and is averaging just over 16 points per game. James Worthy of Time Warner Sports acknowledged Pau’s streak saying, “he (Pau) does his job every night…he’s the rock of this team.”
Since Kobe’s knee injury, the Lakers have gone 4-15. Nick Young was hot and cold in the beginning of the month, going from scoring 21 points against the Denver Nuggets to scoring just 2 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Similarly, Kendall Marshall has been rocky at times since he joined the team in late December. Nevertheless, Pau Gasol has remained the only constant.
Despite the team’s defensive struggles, Gasol has managed to go three straight games with 20 or more points combined with 10 or more rebounds and has fallen below double digits in rebounding only three times this month. During the game against the Chicago Bulls, he notched a career high five blocks coupled with three steals, 19 rebounds and 20 points.
After the Lakers suffered their third loss in a row to the Orlando Magic, the team with the second worst record in the NBA, Pau was noticeably and rightfully frustrated. He voiced his frustration, telling the media during his post game interview, “when you lose to the worst teams in the league you gotta ask yourself why and what does that make you?”
Head Coach Mike D’Antoni and the rest of the Lakers know that defense is the key to turning their season around and acquiring more W’s than L’s. However, Gasol believes another piece to the puzzle is attitude on the floor, voicing his opinion during his post game interview on Friday, “the more positive and active people on the floor the better we’ll be.”
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