Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Pau is Just Not Cutting It

Kobe Bryant, Steve NashThe 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.

For the rest of the pre-game report, click here.

Houston Rockets (20-14) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (15-18)

5:00 PM PST, January 8, 2012

Toyota Center, Houston, TX

TV: TWC Sports Network

Rockets Projected Starting Line-up

Jeremy Lin
SG: James Harden
SF Chandler Parsons:
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Omer Asik

Key Reserves: F Patrick Patterson, F Greg Smith, G Carlos Delfino

Lakers Nation News

Lakers Shootaround Report: Team Looks For Post Help

Inconsistent Team Defense Is the Lakers Number One Problem

Pau Gasol Video Parody Asks For Teams To Please Trade For Pau

Lakers Need Pau Gasol To Channel His “Inner-Beast” Once Again

Lakers News: Magic Johnson Tells Howard to “Stop Complaining”

Antawn Jamison Could Finally Get His Chance To Produce For The Lakers

Magic Johnson Calls Pau Gasol Soft On Latest Twitter Rant

Lakers vs. Rockets Pre-Game Report: Lakers Look to Snap Three Game Skid

Lakers News

Preview: Lakers at Rockets – Can the Subs Survive? [Silver Screen and Roll]

How Do the Lakers Overcome Several Critical Injuries? [Silver Screen and Roll]

Preview & Chat: The Houston Rockets [Forum Blue and Gold]

Quote Roundup: Monday Practice [Lakers Blog]

Pau Gasol Not Yet Cleared for Basketball Activities [Inside the Lakers]

D’Antoni Hoping For Some ‘Sacresanity’ in Houston [Lakers Index]

Kobe Bryant Makes Little of Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Garnett Scuffle [Inside the Lakers]

Magic Johnson, Chris Paul, Steve Nash star in NBA promo [YouTube]

Lakers Have Big Problems For This Trip [LA Times]

Lakers Search for the Silver Lining [ESPN]

Magic: Kobe Needs to be a Better Leader [Lakers Blog]

Where Do the lakers Go From Here? [ESPN]

In Focus: Kobe Bryant Feuds [The Point Forward]

Lakers Clinging Out Hope That Adversity Will Make Them Stronger [Inside the Lakers]

Five Key Questions for the Lakers [Lakers Index]

Injuries Lead to Los Angeles Small-Ball [SB Nation]

Who is the Bigger Alpha Male — Kobe or Dwight? [OC Register]

Lakers Future Depends on Nash [ESPN Insider]

Lakers Waive Darius Johnson-Odom, Keep Robert Sacre [LA Times]





NBA News

The Key to the Wizards’ Oddly Effective Defense [The Point Forward]

DeMarcus Cousins Doesn’t Think People Give Him a Fair Chance [ProBasketballTalk]

Sources: Cavs’ Omri Casspi Requests Trade – [Yahoo! Sports]

Mark Cuban’s Anniversary [ESPN]

The Andrea Bargnani Exclusive TV Offer!! [Raptors HQ]

Brutal January Schedules Await for Five Western Conference Teams [The Point Forward]

Celtics Beat Knicks in First Matchup of the Season – [Yahoo! Sports]

Dirk Nowitzki Doesn’t Sound Excited About the Mavericks’ Future [Ball Don’t Lie]

Rajon Rondo Says He Was Joking with Ref, Didn’t Deserve Suspension [ProBasketballTalk]

Grizzlies, Suns Discussing Possible Trade for Gay []

Andray Blatche Reportedly Questioned for Connection to Sexual Assault Investigation [SB Nation]

New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony Sought to Confront Boston Celtics After Loss [ESPN New York]

Reports: Bucks Part Ways With Coach Skiles [The Point Forward]

Grant Hill Practicing with Clippers, Could Play Saturday [ProBasketballTalk]

Jimmer Fredette Improves By Re-Discovering Himself [SB Nation]

Clippers in Control [CBS Sports]

Shane Battier Sings ‘The Love Boat’ Theme to Inspire Charitable Giving (VIDEO) [Ball Don’t Lie]

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