Home
Pau Gasol and the Lakers’ New Offense Reviewed by Momizat on . Opening night and last night's games did not go as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. The offense was stagnant as timing was off and the players were a step ah Opening night and last night's games did not go as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. The offense was stagnant as timing was off and the players were a step ah Rating:
You Are Here: Home » Editorials » Pau Gasol and the Lakers’ New Offense

Pau Gasol and the Lakers’ New Offense

Opening night and last night’s games did not go as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. The offense was stagnant as timing was off and the players were a step ahead of themselves. Twitter was flooded by Laker fans with their reactions to the team’s performance. The usual calling for the firing of Mike Brown was a popular topic, as was the demand to desert the new Princeton offense mix that the Lakers are trying to utilize in their game plan.

The team’s lack of defense and overall passion in Tuesday’s home opener and on Wednesday in Portland did not help their cause and was, frankly, a bit surprising. In my opinion, the team’s lack of defense was the main cause that led to so many problems in the first two games of the new season; this must be addressed.

—- Kick off the season with your own Lakers Nation t-shirt! —-

I understand some of the frustration of the fans, because as a Laker fan myself, I want the Lakers to win every game, even though I know how unrealistic that is. Yet, in my opinion, I have to disagree with the arguments of ridding the Princeton offense as I see it being too soon to completely scratch off the idea. I do not agree with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal when they called the Princeton offense “stupid” for the Lakers. After all, shouldn’t we save our judgement until we actually have enough sample data to analyze?

There is a reason why the Princeton offense was brought in by Mike Brown and encouraged by Kobe Bryant. They know that once everyone has a clear understanding of its principles and are able to implement it without over-thinking every possession, the Princeton offense will take every players’ strengths to a new high. Since the Princeton offense depends on being able to make reads of not only the defense, but also on your teammates’ body language on offense, we must give the Lakers more than two games and eight preseason games to gel with the system and with each other.

Enough of my tangent on the Princeton offense. I would like to discuss the player that will have the quickest and smoothest transition of the Princeton-style offense that the Lakers are running along with the pick-and-roll and Kobe-iso plays. Pau Gasol is set to benefit from all these situations of the new offensive philosophy. The main reason for this is because Pau is the most skilled big man in the league today and has been for several years now.

Gasol had the following to say about the new-look offensive system and the team’s performance running with it so far:

“We’re spending a lot of time with it, but it’s a big offense. There’s so many options. There’s so many counters. There’s so many automatics. There’s a lot of stuff, and it’s not like set plays, most of them. Just having everybody on the same page and executing the plays and understanding the options, the counters. We have to get to our offense a little quicker. Which seems like we are jogging to it instead of running to it crisply.”

Gasol is a seven-footer that is a pass-first type of player, who can recognize the pass deep in the post. This skill is a rare commodity with bigs in today’s game. Gasol has an incredible basketball IQ and court vision for a big man, with solid passing skills. This is perhaps why we are seeing Gasol showcasing comfort with this system already. Defensively, Pau is too often too late on defensive rotations which leads to more shooting opportunities for opponents.

—- Kick off the season with your own Lakers Nation t-shirt! —-

Second, Steve Nash and Gasol will mesh very well with each other. Once things get settled and timing for each other gets in sync, Nash will be able to exploit Gasol’s strengths and skills in both the low and high post with the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop game. Nash has already been given the green light to run the pick-and-roll at any time. It appears that Nash is holding it back a bit to familiarize the team with the Princeton offense. Additionally, as we have seen for years now, Gasol and Bryant work very well with each other and their ability to read each other is about as good as it gets in the league.

In the season opener against Dallas, Pau Gasol seemed the most comfortable with the hybrid offense, especially in the first half; Gasol ended the night with 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. In last night’s game in Portland, Gasol had a strong first half, but quieted down once Nash left the game with a leg contusion. Overall, Gasol posted 16 points and 9 rebounds on Wednesday night.

While Gasol has already shown glimpses of the benefits of the new Lakers’ offensive system, I understand the frustration and hesitation to buy into the system. Personally, I am a results driven type of person who routinely has to remind myself to be patient. Therefore, I know it’s easy to make judgements quickly when it looks like only one player is showing its benefits so far.

However, as stated before, this system runs on chemistry, or as Metta World Peace calls it, love. Once the team’s offense clicks and they can play with fluidity, their defense will improve greatly. In the meantime, other nuances in the defense must be addressed as soon as possible. The players’ performances have been disappointing and absolutely frustrating. It will take time, but if they stick with it, the outcome will be worth it.

 

About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate from Arizona State University and has her master's from Duquesne University. She is currently an associate editor at Lakers Nation. To read more of Elizabeth's articles click here. You can also follow Elizabeth on Twitter @Gobibs

Number of Entries : 381
  • JohnC

    I agree with this post, totally. It’s too soon to discard anything. The lakers are gonna be in the play-offs as the team not to play against. In fact, the only reason why they’ve been defeated so far is ‘turnovers’, giving the other team too many shots in a game. And Gasol… he¡s got such an impact, he’s the reason why this team or any he plays for (remember the Olympics) can aspire to everything.

  • hookedonnews

    I can’t see any upside to this offense. If it’s such a great scheme why isn’t anyone else using it? If you have ever watched Steve Nash run an offense why would you want to bring in something like this which totally negates his special set of skills? Paul Gasol is the major beneficiary of this, but would you rather have him with the ball in his hands or Steve Nash? Almost every analyst I have heard discuss this subject agrees with me. Your offense should fit your players. This one doesn’t. I believe it’s just a matter of time before they get rid of it. The hiring of Eddie Jordan may make Mike Brown hesitate to make a change, but his job is on the line. The Celtics are an older team, but they still push the ball. I hope they get rid of this albatross so the Lakers fans can watch the Steve Nash they expected to see. 

  • Betto

    I don’t think they should go with the Princeton offense 100%, every player on the team comes from a different system. Letting players do what they do best should have a better effect, using some form of the Princeton offense combined with the triangle offense/defense should work better.

  • Betto

    I don’t think they should go with the Princeton offense 100%, every player on the team comes from a different system. Letting players do what they do best should have a better effect, using some form of the Princeton offense combined with the triangle offense/defense should work better.

  • Laker89

    Although I am against this offense, just because the players seem to play in unnatural manner. I will say that this offense appears to be efficient. I mean just look at the stats, were around fourth from the arc shooting around fifty from fg, and definitely better ball movement then last year so far. The problem is we r not taking enough shots and too many turnovers with bad transition defense. Our Defensive coach needs to get our defense to match our offense, basically Howard has to get healthy and Ron needs to step it up as well as Blake defensively

Contact Us | Privacy Policy | © 2014 Medium Large, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Medium Large, LLC - All data and information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Los Angeles Lakers, it's employees, or its’ affiliates. LakersNation.com is an independent fan site and not associated with or represent National Basketball Association or the Los Angeles Lakers. Furthermore, LakersNation.com makes no representations as to accuracy, suitability, or validity of any information on this website and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Scroll to top