You can’t always read too much into a box score or a stat line, at times it doesn’t always reflect the impact a player can have on a game. In Gasol’s case, against the Hornets, the numbers that came up on the stat sheet really do tell the whole story.
8: Points Gasol had in 38-minutes of play. If you asked 100 avid Lakers fans who they thought was guarding Gasol on his 8-point night, I’d be willing to bet that one out of those 100 would guess Carl Landry and that person would probably think I was talking about the Lakers 2009 first-round series against the Houston Rockets. In Gasol terms that translates to a big fat no bueno.
9: Shots attempted, only two makes. Talk about having options—Gasol has them all. He can hit hook shots with either hand. Stifle defenders in the post. Hit a mid-range jump shot with relative ease. He can take to the rim and although this is never his first option, it usually spells results for the Lakers. Again, Gasol has all the tools, but lacked creativity against the Hornets.
6: Assists Gasol collected. The Lakers don’t always acknowledge Gasol’s existence in the post, and yes their ball movement on Sunday was suspect, but if your No. 2 option on offense has six assists in a game where he only scored eight points—that’s a problem. I hate to get all cheerleader on Gasol, but he really needed to be more aggressive. Be be aggressive.
4: Free throws attempted and subsequent makes. I’m a half-glass full kind of gal. I found a positive. You’re welcome.
0: Offensive rebounds. One of the biggest concerns for the Lakers, and Phil Jackson touched on this in his post-game presser, was Gasol’s inability to get in the post. Too often when shots went up, the Lakers second-best rebounder was nowhere near the vicinity of an offensive board. Second chance points are vital to the Lakers success and could’ve been the way to take the Hornets out of the game early on.
Next: The Hornets played good defense, got Gasol out of rhythm
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