Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Pau is Just Not Cutting It
The Lakers have dropped their last three games, including a 112-105 defeat against Denver Nuggets Sunday night. Tonight the Lakers play the Rockets who are the league’s highest scoring team. Couple that Rockets honor with a terrible defensive job this season, and the Lakers are really at a disadvantage. The Rockets come into the game on a four-game winning streak and a 20-14 record.
Elizabeth Benson did a great job today of analyzing the Lakers defense and why it has become their #1 problem. As she points out, the Lakers struggle with defensive consistency, usually getting their gears going in the fourth quarter of a game when they are too far behind. Her break down of the Clippers game really puts things into perspective.
It was this quote from her article that really caught my attention, however:
I have always believed that if a player is struggling on one end of the court, which of course is going to happen, they need to make up for it on the other side. That is why I am having a hard time comprehending Pau Gasol’s performance for the majority of the season.
Magic Johnson went on a tirade on his Twitter account about how badly the Lakers are doing, especially Pau Gasol. The former Lakers player called the big man “soft,” pleading for Gasol to get back to the beast he used to be. Right now, Pau is averaging a career-low 12.2 points and has on average 8.4 rebounds, however, there have been many games where he disappears completely, putting up lower numbers. As an NBA player, Gasol should be a career 18.5 points, 9.2 rebounds a game guy. Pau should be bringing it and bringing it strong. Between Benson’s analysis, the parody-trade video posted yesterday, and Magic Johnson’s tweets, it seems as though a wide range of Lakers fans are sick of the big man.
I used to be more optimistic towards him, probably because I know Pau has more talent than he has been giving the Lakers this season. Then again, I could be lying to myself; his differences with D’Antoni’s system and overall performance warrants a trade elsewhere. This way the Lakers get rid of a seemingly dragging weight and free up some salary space.
Houston Rockets (20-14) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (15-18)
5:00 PM PST, January 8, 2012 Toyota Center, Houston, TX
CA TV: TWC Sports Network
Rockets Projected Starting Line-up
SG: James Harden
SF Chandler Parsons:
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Omer Asik
Key Reserves: F Patrick Patterson, F Greg Smith, G Carlos Delfino
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