Over the course of the past few weeks, the Lakers have won convincingly over potential conference hurdles, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio and Dallas. They’ve played big against some of the better teams in the East, Orlando and Atlanta (twice). Taken care of business against teams they should beat handedly, Minnesota, Charlotte and the Clippers.
They’ve done it with defense, certainly, but the Lakers have also benefited from taking some of the load off the team’s second leading scorer, Pau Gasol.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Gasol was the big winner in the Andrew-Bynum-is-finally-healthy-in-March sweepstakes.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, when Gasol averages 19.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, it usually translates into a win for the Lakers. Over the last 10 games, Gasol has averaged numbers only slightly below–18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while shooting at 52.2-percent from the field.
The Lakers have only lost one game over the last 10. Coincidence? You be the judge.