NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Alleyhoops on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:48 am

http://www.nba.com/2013/news/07/30/lake ... ef:nbahpts

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- With Dwight Howard gone and Kobe Bryant injured, Pau Gasol is eager to reassert himself as a leader of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Gasol told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants, knees allowing, to be the dominant player of old who helped Bryant and Co. win back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.

"I think I have the most uncertain period behind me," Gasol said. "The team has suffered a lot of changes, but as far as me, I am back in the position of a lot of responsibility, which I like, and I'm just going to focus on getting healthy.
"Now with Dwight gone I am the reference inside and I am more like I was a couple of years back when we made the finals three straight times and won two straight championships."

The Lakers have entered one of the franchise's most difficult eras in recent memory, with Howard snubbing the storied club to sign with the Houston Rockets, and Bryant, its heart and soul, out indefinitely recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Gasol said he wasn't surprised by Howard's decision to leave after just one season because it was "always a possibility." He described his former teammate a "nice guy" and a "hard worker."

Gasol spoke to the AP in the Barcelona airport, where he had just returned from a trip as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador to a refugee camp established in Iraq for the thousands fleeing the armed conflict in neighboring Syria. Gasol called attention to the shortages of "water supplies, schools for children, and medicine" in the camp that was built for 15,000 but has taken in 50,000.

Gasol said that his humanitarian work gives balance to his life as a professional athlete and all the noise surrounding his team, especially during last season when the Lakers went from preseason title contender to getting swept in the first round of the playoffs. "I've made five trips to the field (with UNICEF) and seen all kinds of different things and people suffering a lot of different situations," Gasol said. "Obviously it puts things in perspective, and all the other things I might deal with my team or with my profession are much less important or meaningful than the lives of people that are on the line every day."

Despite the loss of Howard, Bryant's injury, and a disappointing 2012-13 season, the Lakers have so far not opted to completely overhaul the team. Instead, they seem prepared to wait for Bryant to get healthy and go for another run with him and Gasol as their veteran pillars. The Lakers did waive Metta World Peace, but they signed Nick Young, Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman.

Yet even with Howard off to Texas, there are still two factors that will play an important role in whether Gasol can return to his peak form at 33 years old and entering his 13th season in the league: his health and his coach. Gasol had surgery followed by stem cell treatment on both knees in May. He said that after resting for most of this summer he is increasing the intensity of his physical rehab. "These next two months are the key months to find out how they really are," he said, adding that he wasn't in pain.

And while Gasol wants to again be the Lakers' second scorer after Bryant, he still hasn't heard if coach Mike D'Antoni agrees. The Spaniard said that he had spoken to Bryant, point guard Steve Nash, and general manager Mitch Kupchak about the team after Howard opted to leave, but he had yet to speak to D'Antoni. Gasol had a rough first season with the former Suns and Knicks coach and lost his guaranteed starter's job. Nevertheless, Gasol said he was looking forward to this season.

"(D'Antoni) had a tough position, I had a tough position," Gasol said about last season. "I had a job to do, he had a job to do, so there really is no mystery. I know he had challenges. It was a very challenging season. Next season is a different one and a new chapter. So we'll start out fresh and do our best."

A career scorer of 18-plus points per game, Gasol had his worst scoring season in 2012-13 with just 13.7 PPG. Now the four-time All Star is aiming to bounce back with his contract coming up next summer. "I have a great motivation," he said. "It's the last year of my contract so I want to get back to being one of the top players in the league."

Besides continuing his work with UNICEF, Pau and his brother Marc Gasol, a center for the Memphis Grizzlies, will be launching the "Gasol Foundation" focused on children's health in September.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:18 pm

Hopefully MDA doesn't do something really idiotic and start Kaman at C and Pau at PF. Say hello to the worst pick and roll defense in the league
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Weezy on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:00 pm

I hope he can back down in the post, and while I don't expect him to be 2008-2010 Pau, it would be great it he can play that style again. He was our center to close games with LO at PF, he was a scorer down low, hook shots, layups, dunks, 10-15 foot jumpers, that sort of stuff. He needs to be our starting C now, get back in the post, get easy baskets, rebound, hopefully even play some defense.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby therealdeal on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:14 pm

What is this humanitarian non-sense about the Lakers not being all that important??
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby lakerfan2 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:24 pm

What we saw towards the end of the season is what could still be there, he just needs to stop taking jumpers. I don't even care if he puts the ball on the floor and drives, he's MUCH more effective in the paint. Even for kicking the ball out and passing.

A lineup of:

Nash
Blake
Young
Hill
Pau

doesn't look strong on paper, but with some chemistry, it could take some teams off guard. Of course, insert Kobe when he gets back in the lineup, but yeah. We still need another PF though.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Juronimo on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:30 pm

therealdeal wrote:What is this humanitarian non-sense about the Lakers not being all that important??


How did you gather that from the article? All he is saying is that people suffering or whatever is more important than basketball. How is that a bad thing?
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby therealdeal on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:46 pm

Juronimo wrote:
therealdeal wrote:What is this humanitarian non-sense about the Lakers not being all that important??


How did you gather that from the article? All he is saying is that people suffering or whatever is more important than basketball. How is that a bad thing?

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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby lakersfever on Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:06 pm

I hope his knees will get better after the treatment. I'd like to see the champhionship era Pau return to form. Then if and when Kobe came back and played like he did before he got injured, I could see the Lakers landing at least the 4th see in the West. I am the eternal optimist. :jam2:
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Rooscooter on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:20 pm

I'm firmly from Missouri on this.......

The last 4 years were not all related to injury.....
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby noobiew on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:49 pm

Good, finally to see Gasol back to a spot where he belongs and play for his optimal position.

The final missing piece is a PF, and I expect the Lakers will figured it out and sign Odom.

C - Gasol / Kaman
PF - LO / Hill
SF - Wesley / Young
SG - Kobe / Meeks
PG - Nash / Farmar / Blake
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:59 am

^ The Lakers signed Elias Harris almost assuredly instead of Odom. Harris plays SF/PF, so signing Lamar at this point would be pretty redundant.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:46 pm

We need injury insurance though, our bigs aren't exactly reliable. I wouln't mind seeing 7 bigs on the roster.

Injury Prone: Gasol, Hill, Kaman.

Raw: Kelly, Sacre, Harris

If any one of our injury prone bigs goes down, someone raw has to step in. Not exactly a safe plan. If two get injured, we are essentially f*****....it leaves Harris/Sacre/Kelly playing serious minutes.

In spite of Odom=Harris, I still think we can make use of Odom. Sacre doesn't give us much and Kelly/Harris shouldn't be relied upon to play more than 8 minutes a game at this point.

If there is someone better than Odom at the minimum, get him.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:01 pm

But is there someone better?

I agree with you in a sense, but I just don't know if there is someone better that we need to sign right now. Honestly, if/when injuries hit we'll have one spot open maybe we try to get someone like Tyrus Thomas later on to fill in for a season?

Or the Lakers probably don't even bother honestly. They'll just roll with what we've got and if we can upgrade the roster at any point with a great young player we do it, but otherwise we'll just roll with these young guys and see what happens.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby abeer3 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:35 pm

Rooscooter wrote:I'm firmly from Missouri on this.......

The last 4 years were not all related to injury.....


partly injury, partly aging, partly playing more and more minutes at pf, where he really doesn't belong.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Punk-101 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:36 pm

I'd take Tyrus for the vet min. As worthless and knuckle-headed as he has been, he would have value as an athletic fly swatter, since we don't have one. Look what washed up pedo-bear Birdman did for Miami last year. TT could be that for us 10-12 MPG, or he could rot on the bench if Kelly and Elias blossom and Hill can play bigger minutes without breaking in half.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Juronimo on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:45 pm

therealdeal wrote:
Juronimo wrote:
therealdeal wrote:What is this humanitarian non-sense about the Lakers not being all that important??


How did you gather that from the article? All he is saying is that people suffering or whatever is more important than basketball. How is that a bad thing?

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Hard to tell on the internet, besides it doesn't take much to make people want to throw Gasol under the bus.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:50 pm

Juronimo wrote:
Hard to tell on the internet, besides it doesn't take much to make people want to throw Gasol under the bus.

No worries. I thought the second question mark was a dead give away, but that's alright.

I've always been a huge fan of Gasol's humanitarian work. I find it refreshing when you put it up next to the modern day superstar athletes like James and Wade and Howard. For all their talk, Gasol is actually doing things to help.

Say what you will about Pau and what he's been the last 3 years for the Lakers, but I'll always love Pau the person.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby last stand on Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:40 am

all i know is we'll win 30 games if we start kaman at center and pau at PF
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby strategos on Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:29 am

"It's the last year of my contract so I want to get back to being one of the top players in the league."


This part really bothers me. I understand that the contract year always provides additional motivation but to state it as the main reason for wanting to get back to being one of the top players seems just wrong. Especially considering the fact that during the last few years he did seem uninterested at times.

Anyway, hopefully he does have a great season and the Lakers are able to trade him at the deadline for some nice peaces/picks. He has been one of my favorite Lakers since he came over and I will probaly also always like him as a person but it's time to move on. I'm excited to see what the magic wand can turn him into.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby lakersin4 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:03 pm

Punk-101 wrote:I'd take Tyrus for the vet min. As worthless and knuckle-headed as he has been, he would have value as an athletic fly swatter, since we don't have one. Look what washed up pedo-bear Birdman did for Miami last year. TT could be that for us 10-12 MPG, or he could rot on the bench if Kelly and Elias blossom and Hill can play bigger minutes without breaking in half.

Agreed.. & at 26, a high draft pick that didn't live up to his potential, he seems to fit the pattern of players that Mitch targets. I'll take his shotblocking & athleticism over what LO can offer at this point. If we were in a contending year, I'd take LO.. But TT fits what this season is all about perfectly.. This season is going to be all about proving the doubters wrong.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:32 pm

Where is the defense going to come from?

Prepare yourselves for non-stop uncontested layups and dunks in 2013-2014. :bang:
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Elle on Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:02 pm

I heart Pau and hope he can get back to being the player that he was in 08-10, God I still remember getting the chills the first time he played with the Lakers and Kobe saying "Me gusta, me gusta" while Pau was giving an interview after the game, ah the good old days.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby RevTime on Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:23 pm

I saw him on that Spain team a year or two ago (Olympics). He did pretty well at the Center position. I'm excited to see him plays the C for the Lakers this coming season. I hope he does well and hopefully we're off to win another championship this coming season.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby trodgers on Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:42 am

I hope this is true, but here's some food for thought.

Pau Gasol since 2005/06
Scoring Efficiency:
6.1, 6.4, 6.2 (came to LA), 6.1, 6.1, 6.1, 5.8, 5.5 (really fell off the table the past two seasons)
-his 6.4 was pretty awesome, and anything over 6.0 is very good.

Passing Effiency:
3.1, 2.8, 2.8 (came to LA), 2.9, 2.8, 2.8, 2.9, 3.2
-Gasol is one of the best passing bigs in the NBA; anything over 3.0 is good for any position up to SG (PGs should be 3.5+)

Hustle Effiency:
3.1, 3.3, 3.1 (came to LA), 3.3, 3.6, 3.4, 3.2, 3.1
-Gasol's shot blocking, offensive rebounding, and his low foul rate help him score well (3.0 is very good)

Offensive Rating
102.3, 108.1, 100.0 (came to LA), 102.1, 105.6, 103.3, 95.0, 90.0
-100+ is excellent; 90+ is very good (the Big position is crowded with players who can score 90+ though)

Gasol was going strong until the past two seasons. He was facing injuries, so some will point to that as the main culprit. Others will note that he's 33, has over 30,000 regular season minutes played (in addition to 4000 in playoffs and how many in international play).

Gasol can still be a top ten Center, I think, if he's healthy, but I think it's time to move him into the lower half of the starting Centers in the NBA.
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Re: NBA.COM: Lakers' Gasol ready to reclaim center position

Postby Finwë on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:55 pm

^ nice breakdown.
However, IMO, the main concern with Pau is how much of a liability he has been / will be on the defensive end, especially when you add that we don't really have great defenders to hide him. Do you have stats that break down his impact on D?
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