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Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 11:00 am  |  21 responses

Kobe Bryant Sure Pau Gasol Will be More Aggressive in Game 2

Gasol (and the Lakers’ lazy approach to defense) took much of the blame for the Hornets’ stunning win in the series opener, but Kobe is sure that Pau will be an entirely different player next time these teams face off. From Yahoo!: “And yet when someone wanted to know if the Lakers would have benefitted from better distribution of their shots – or, say, fewer from Kobe – Bryant made this point unmistakably clear: ‘If the effort isn’t there,’ he said, ‘I’m not going to sit around and wait, especially in the playoffs.’ What he meant: I’m not waiting on Pau. Nor should he. More than anyone, this loss falls on the shoulders of Pau Gasol. With the Hornets having lost forward David West, their second-best player, to a season-ending knee injury, the Lakers walked into this series with a huge size advantage. Emeka Okafor didn’t stay on the floor long enough to make an impact because of foul trouble, further limiting New Orleans’ interior presence to 6-foot-9 forward Carl Landry, Gray and Jason Smith, a jump-shooting 7-footer. The Lakers’ three-man rotation at the two big positions – Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum – spans nearly 21 feet and $40 million. And through a combination of Paul’s penetrating drives and L.A.’s defensive indifference, the Hornets outscored the Lakers 52-34 in the paint. Gasol took just nine shots to Bryant’s 26, making only two. He didn’t fight for position under the basket. He didn’t demand the ball. He didn’t grab a single offensive rebound. He floated. Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins called Gasol soft a month ago, and there was no refuting that on Sunday in the Lakers’ 109-100 loss. Gasol played the part and looked it too, leaving the arena with a bandage under his left eye that covered a gash DJ Mbenga had opened. ‘It’s up to me to get myself going, be more aggressive, get myself into rhythm,’ Gasol said. Someone asked if Odom also needed to hike his scoring, and Bryant made clear that wasn’t the problem. ‘Pau is our guy,’ he said. ‘He’s next in line and gets the responsibility that comes with it … He’s not naturally aggressive,’ Bryant said. ‘Even if I’m tired, I’m naturally aggressive. You just have to rev him up a little bit, get him going.’”

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  • Ali

    Get in his a** Kobe, the way he played was totally unacceptable. Some guy named Grey out plays you, WTF.

  • Eddie

    Illuminati. SQUAD UP.

  • http://jojo.com Max

    GaSOFT

  • Feez22

    funny bc gray got more touches than pau and shot 100% vs. bynum but it’s pau’s fault… NICE.

  • KobesBestFriend

    every1 but kobe played soft and phil coached soft playing a d-leaguer and stupid defensive schemes against cp3…we need steve blake back in the worse way!!!

  • Ali

    @ Feez22, I hear you. L.O. was a non factor too…it wasn’t all on Pau. Pau should have been licking his chops over this first round match up, (no D. West or star 7 footer to deal with) but he was just kinda flat the whole game.

  • MLK4Life

    It seems like Kobe is the only one who wants it. They can’t just turn it on and off when they’re playing a guy like CP3 who can take over a series. If they play like this against the Thunder, they won’t make it to June…if they get out of this series alive.

  • robb

    damn Lakers can be so lazy sometimes…

  • tRay

    Am I the only one that sees something wrong with Kobe taking 26 shots and Gasol taking 9?

  • Anthony

    this is goin 7 games because cp3 is gonna take em dere

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    Pau ALWAYS gets destroyed by Carl Landry. Laker fans know…

  • http://www.slamonline.com peter

    @tRay, it would seem wrong if you only look at the box score…

  • http://slamonline.com biged

    ok. bad game by he lakers. The way I see it theis is the Lakers worse performance of 2011…chances are they will never do it again. On the same note this was the Hornets best performance of 2011…chances are they wont do it again. Im just being honest chances of the Hornets playing like a bunch of Hall of Famers againf is close to none.

  • http://slamonline.com biged

    as bad as the Lakers played and as good as the Hornets played, the game was still super close. until the end

  • Red Star

    The Lakers list that game because of Phil! His Zenness would rather watch them make mistakes instead of call a timeout! Lakers 4 Life!

  • Red Star

    I meant lost. Damn iPhone! Lakers 4 Life!!

  • J.C.

    The Lakers are still sure to win the series but this is damn embarrassing and is sure to spur on other opponents to stand up to L.A.’s otherwise intimidating front line. Guess Pau didn’t realise the Hornets came to play.

  • Josh

    Meh, happens to the Lakers every year. This is the fourth year in a row they will be trying to get to the Finals, and the fourth year in a row where they haven’t looked dominant at the beginning.
    Pau will chin up and start to play, the defense will get suffocating and everyone will back off them. Yawn.

  • real

    Pau played weak, but man, Kobe was a beast which is a great sign for the Lakers! Pau will get it going and kobe will keep it going.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I’m pissed because that’s some of the best scoring plays Kobe’s done this year, and we lost

  • flipnoyce

    Sure, Hobe blame somebody else for not taking more shots.LMAO, I’m no mathematician but u taking more shots than anyone is the same obvious reason why everyone else is taking less shots.

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