A Fully Utilized Pau Gasol Is Peaking At The Right Time

The game typically slows down in the postseason, and a go-to half-court, post-up type of player is an invaluable asset.

In this case, that player is Pau Gasol.

Gasol may not be the same player he was back in 2010, but he’s still just as smart and can make the correct decisions when given the opportunity to work on the low block.

So far since his return from a torn fascia on March 22, he’s been given that opportunity and, in turn, has been flourishing.

Okay, maybe he wasn’t exactly “given” the opportunity, as Gasol explained:

Anyway, the first couple games he was getting his rhythm back, but over the last seven games (in which the Lakers are 5-2), Gasol has averaged 15.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists; all of this on 55.7 percent shooting from the field.

Additionally, while he’s been doing this, Kobe Bryant has averaged 26.0 points, 8.6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds while Dwight Howard has averaged 20.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks on 64.2 percent shooting from the field.

—- See Pau Gasol through the years in photos! —-

This is important.

Why?

While it was great to see team victories earlier this season after Kobe switched into facilitator mode (and eventually went into complete beast mode), and the likes of Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Jodie Meeks, and/or Steve Blake would have big games on given nights, nothing beats consistent play from a team’s All-Star caliber players.NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers

Essentially, you knew the Black Mamba was going to show up, but you didn’t know who else was going to.

Most nights it would be Steve Nash. Some nights it would be Dwight Howard. Other nights it would be Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake or a combination of all of them.

While that’s encouraging to see, it isn’t necessarily the best way to consistently win.

Although it was great seeing different players step up and the team was winning, with the playoffs approaching, a team serious about competing for a championship needs its stars to be playing at a consistently elite level.

Essentially, on this team, the players who need to be playing consistently well are Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash.

That appears to finally be taking place (minus Nash due to injury), and the Lakers are capitalizing on the biggest advantage they’ve had over the last five-six years: Size.

Next Page: How The Lakers Can Sustain Their Advantage, With Pau

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