Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 2:10 pm  |  55 responses

Lakers Troubles Being Pinned on Pau Gasol

by Ryne Nelson

Public scrutiny can be a bitch. Just ask Pau Gasol.

As if the constant murmurs of being ‘soft’ weren’t enough, the Lakers‘ All-Star big man now has to deal with public criticism from his coach and teammates.

The man who looked like an MVP just a year ago is now averaging just 13.6 points and 7.8 boards in the Playoffs. The Lakers just dropped into a deep 0-2 hole after losing their second consecutive home game to the Mavs last night.

For the Lakers to keep their title hopes alive, it’s going to take an overnight return to elite status for Gasol. And many people don’t see a transformation happening. From the L.A. Times:

Maybe he’s suffering the fatigue of playing so many early season minutes while manning the middle until Bynum returned from his ill-timed surgery. Maybe his naturally docile nature has finally buckled under the pressure of overcoming a “soft” tag for three consecutive brawling springs.

Gasol doesn’t know, saying only, “I tried to be aggressive. … I tried my best.”

Jackson doesn’t know, saying only, “He was one of the players who looked tired out there.”

Sure, the Lakers can point fingers in almost every direction. But the bottom line is that Pau Gasol plays the biggest role outside of Kobe Bryant. He plays well, and the Lakers could be up 2-0. It may sound like Gasol’s being made a scapegoat. In reality, he’s being held accountable.

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  • OvaChiken

    FIRST !! . PINN THE MOPHEAD !!!!! eat it

  • OvaChiken

    I’m enjoying this Lakers downfall very much but Is Kobe gonna A : say somethin that a leader should to motivate his teammates , Or B : he gonna slide to the side & pretend it’s not his fault like a little B…. ?

  • JTaylor21

    Of course it’s always on him. Only in La La land does the supposed leader of a team gets no blame for the team’s losses but receives all the credit when they win. Talk about living the high life.

  • Funky Spunk

    B it is :-)

  • Und Eine !!

    Man if Dallas win their next game , i’m gonna shave my gonads :-)

  • Jer dawg

    The solution is easy; have Bynum or Gasol come off bench for this series matchup purposes. Lamar ought to have a better chance guarding Nowitzki. It’s playoff time. Check your egos at the door and man up once your number is called. I’m sure Gasol will take this better than Bynum. Gasol looks really gassed chasing Dirk out beyond the free throw extended. SMH. But damn it’s the bench giving up layups to JJ barea! Looking like Carlos Arroyo when he tore up the uSA at the World Championships and Olympics in ’03-’04. SMH, again.

  • hagekg

    hellloooooooooo,,,,,,why so quiet ? Where are all the damned kobe fans now who wished their hero would overcome jordan in titles ? And if kobe is gonna blame on his poor teammate performance, yall whos bitter with lebrons decisions should go lick my toes and apologise now!

  • tomtom

    @JTaylor that’s because the leader of the team is still playing extremely well. I think one play summed up the lakers’ problems last night, the ball got hit by a laker in the backcourt and moved slowly through the air past Pau. He knew, as did everbody in staples, that it was going to be Mav’s ball but decided not to jump into the stand after the ball and instead watched it sail out of bounds before shrugging with a phony ‘i thought it was laker ball’ look on his face. He is lethargic just his presence on the court seems to make the lakers complacent and limp. Just look at the way he high fives his team mates, i think he is resting on his rather impressive laurels.

  • http://Slamonline.com Rocksinmypants

    Lakers are in serious trouble. I love them but when did the beginning of the end come.

  • OvaChicken

    Its here now. REALISE !

  • flipnoyce

    And so it began, whose pointing fingers at who. When the Fakers wins Hobe is always the obvious Hero according to his ball sack fan lovers, but then when they lose those same Hobe lovers says Gasol is to blame. LMAO! Gasol, just demand a trade and your problem will be solve.

  • http://eboysucks.com jbn74sb

    More specifically, the troubles are being blamed on Gasol’s giant stinky hairy vagina.

  • JL

    Yes Gasol has sucked it up, but really I don’t get what’s going on. Sure the defense is not so great, but really the reason why teh lakers are losing is because they are playing so poorly. Can’t even make shots. Just doesn’t make any sense. Maybe they need more oxygen? Just seem to be missing something. Maybe 3 years of alot of games is wearing on them. Or there is no positive energy in the lockeroom. It does more seem like that. Seems like they’re not a team that like each other a whole lot.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    I hate this man, so so much. If Nowitzki skins him again in game 3, I’ll have to purchase a Dirk jersey.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    @jbn74sb LOL!!!!

  • bull22

    all this dude has done is help bring two rings to los angeles and now they hate him. ridiculous. stupid laker fans need to go back to the back to back seasons in which the phoenix suns eliminated them when it was kobe ball…. get over it and deal with it, the series is not even over yet…

  • bull22

    dirk has always been the better power forward, even though he has never played with another superstar… after bynums comments, you can believe the players are tired of kobe calling them out, i bet they can’t wait to go on vacation quick enough to get away from the arrogant jerk!

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    Anaheim Royalty plays soccer

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    @ Bull22
    Dirk has had no superstar around him?
    Then what is a 2 time mvp point guard? :D

  • flipnoyce

    Without Gasol, the Fakers are nowhere near that 2peat. Sink that to your head Kobe fan boys! cosign Bull 22@ comment 3:37!!!

  • Bruno

    you talkin about two years ago or last year, the games are playing right now and apparently the Pau you are talkin about wasnt in staples center the first two games

  • trusoldier77

    i mean if you only go 2-20 from downtown you are never gonna win a game at all. these boys need to focus, gasol cant get all the blame because those killer b’s stink except for shannon brown. blake is scared to shoot and barnes just cant.

  • jedi420

    Gasol is soft, there’s no getting around it, dude just coasts for half the game and tries to ‘get into it’ at select moments.. that’s not gonna work too well in the playoffs..

    There is a few guys I’ve noticed this year in the playoffs that float, I think the best had to be Hedo Turkoglu, I was at game 5 in Orlando and watched the guy on the opening play of the game and had to laugh.. Dwight wins the tip Hedo WALKS to the corner on the baseline, lightly jogs along the baseline pretends to be running off a screen, sees J Rich putting up a jumper, doesn’t even consider going for the offensive rebound and starts walking backwards towards the defensive end. It was that moment that I knew Orlando would be eliminated early. You can’t have one lazy unmotivated player on your team, they are like poison.

    A lot of what these games boil down to is effort and desire.. If you aren’t fired up to play in the playoffs and ‘conserve’ your energy, it’s putting your team at risk of losing. In the first few minutes of the game a lot of things can be decided, who is gonna hit who first, who is the aggressor, who is gonna be the best rebounder on the floor, come on Pau step up and decide to use your talent and ability to be the best player on the floor!!

    Truth is he’s lucky Dirk is mainly just torching his ass on defense, I’d love to see Laker lovers watch Gasol get eaten alive on the glass by a dude like Kevin Love or David Lee, a couple of guys that aren’t afraid to work harder than anyone else on the floor..

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

    A good bit of the blame is being pinned on Pau Gasol……and he deserves it.

  • Josh

    @flipnoyce The Lakers wouldn’t win without Pau, so take the Kobe fans?
    Couldn’t you say that for every single team?
    Lebron/Wade couldn’t win without Lebron/Wade?
    Pierce couldn’t win without Garnett?
    Howard couldn’t win without Jameer?
    etc, etc, etc.
    That is in no way a shot to Kobe fans, we know that. It is just a disapointment to see Pau underachieve.

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

    In order to show I’m still loyal to the Lakers this series, I wore a Kobe Bryant shirt(with his signature) to school today.

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

    Brand new. I caught alot of sh*t from guys that don’t even watch the sport regularly, and band-wagon fans. I still believe in my team but they need to get they’re sh*t together.

  • Bruno

    finally someone with some sense

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    BlckPhanton:Respect……times like these help you weed out the Faker-fans from the true Laker fans

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

    @Royal exactly…friends asking me “Why would you wear that shirt when they just lost?” I said “It’s called having faith in your team”

  • robb

    Gasol played poorly on both ends, every Dallas player abused him. The only player who looks motivated and plays his @ss off every game is Kobe, that’s why nobody blames him. He may force a lot of shots but when your teammates do nothing what else can you do?

  • http://klatschendom.wordpress.com/ Speedy

    cosign bull22

  • floe

    Fvck that it’s unfair to use Gasol as a scapegoat after he won them a championship less than a year back. Also kudos to Dallas, never really thought they’d grab this series by the balls. I can see them taking game 3 at home and then finishing off in 6. But all you kobe haters need to chill out it’s too early to bask.

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

    @floe…unfair? Gasol needs to play like he has a pair and get the same motivation he had last year

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    the TEAM is underachieving. They win when they’re hungry and playing as a cohesive unit. They need to figure out how to throw Dirk off his game, it’s been done enough times. You’d think Phil Jax would have a backup plan for this, but Pau hasn’t had any luck. Double off of DeShawn Stevenson for a start. Shut down Dirk, stall the Dallas offense and rattle them on both ends of the court. When Dallas is frustrated they can blow it. Lakers need to take notes on game-tape from the Portland comeback game. Gasol needs to save his energy for offense, rather than waste it on futile defense on Dirk which has already proved not to work. AND the team needs to stand behind Pau, not blame, Kobe needs to step up vocally.

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

    dev0 you make great points. But you think maybe L.A. might go back to the game-tape in that game back in the regular season? Where they just simply manhandled Dallas and made them just take the loss like they weren’t grown men

  • B.C.

    Pau Gasol should be blamed for these 2 losses. In the first game he cost them the game with that stupid foul on Dirk Nowitzki with no fouls to give and that turnover in the final seconds. Game 2 he simply wasn’t getting it done, I mean he was getting shut down by Dirk and Dirk isn’t even a defensive stopper, on top of that if you can’t guard Dirk at least make him go inside because he hasn’t been able to score in the paint this whole series and Dirk just simply can’t do it with the depth of the Lakers. Pau should be blamed for these losses because Kobe can’t do it himself. Pau can get it together but if he doesn’t this series will be a wrap.

  • hoodsnake

    Rent the Black Swan movie again

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

    LMAO, you know what? After watching “Black Swan”, I actually understand why Kobe had Pau watch it.

  • mj23

    blame kobe he is the team leader he supose to be the closes to mj he isnt but if he is:P then blame kobe all kobetard you say he is as good as mj then blame him he dindt play like mj haha!kobe is in trouble

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

    mj23, your argument is pretty illogical. All because he’s the team leader doesn’t mean he automatically takes blame for every loss

  • mikeb0389

    1st off, non-lakers fans do not have an opinion on this matter, becuase they put pau on a crazy pedestal. pau’s biggest weakness has always been his inconsistency. pau is an occasional all-star, not a superstar, and this is the fact that non-laker fans are just starting to realize, becuase they just watch highlights and dnt follow entire seasons. pau always has had a tendency to disappear & it is kobe that has to dig them outta holes all the time. its a gift but yet a curse, because they rely on kobe to be superman evry nite when they fall behind, and get stuck in the bad habit of standing around & watching. this is the 2 time defending champs, you cannot get #2 money in LA & start in the allstar game & then play like this when it matters most. POINT BLANK PERIOD

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    On a more relevant topic. How would Artest fair in MMA?

  • holiday

    Blame???? How about giving the Mavs a lil credit. I can’t imagine the Lakers are all that hungry for it, and Dirks window is closing. Oh and by the way, Lakers fans are the biggest bandwagon fans in the world…. half of them were Bulls fans during the Jordan era!

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    only one word to describe the Lakers: disappointing
    they’ve been like that all season, now they haven’t “flipped the switch” in the playoffs, what happened to the Lakers that use to play championship basketball the last 2 years? how come Steve Blake and Matt Barnes aren’t contributing much off the bench? guess its cuz they don’t care :(

  • OvaChicken

    Youve got 4 AllStars on the squad who can’t figure out a way to win after years of ballin together with a great coach & pin the blame on the foreigner. Ha ha . Go Miami !

  • OvaChicken

    Im not sayin lakers cant win the series but im bringin out my (victory cigar ) if Dallas win the next one.

  • Morgan

    @holiday – yeah sure anyone can make up statistics, 66% of people know that…Granted the Laker fan base isn’t the most energetic out there but that happens when your used to winning. If every player was at their best except Pau then it would be fair to pin this on him, until then its the Team that carries the blame.

  • KB8TOSG8

    LA can still do it. Just win game 3 and we are in a similar position as in NBA Finals vs Celts. So that’s good. And, has anyone got a lot of stick from bandwagoners??? I couldn’t get out of my classes without getting booed or laughed at by a few of my friends who don’t even follow BBall :x

  • Yesse

    Well, that is one of the reasons for Lakers sloppy play, but i don’t think it is the only one. The way the Lakers play overrall is just terrible. Their defense is lacking energy and in offense they barely try anything except for Kobe.

  • backboard

    2 things: if you are an all-star and should put up 25 and 10, then yeah, you should get blamed if you struggle to 13.8 and 7.8. Plus, Pau Gasol has always been manhandled by Dirk Nowitzki. ALWAYS! Sorry to say it, but Gasol IS soft. Best reminder was the hyped up first Game between MIA and LA. He got owned by freaking Big Z!!!

  • GGG

    It really looks like a case of a Mavs team who are hungry and fighting for everything and not backing down compared to a Lakers who are waiting/expecting for the win to happen and falling part when it doesnt.

  • Mike From Spain

    @ backboard -> Well, Pau looks much worse now than last season. Do you remember the finals against the Celtics? He had to play against KG, Perk (not all the games though), big baby, etc… I would not say he was soft in these games. But now I have to give you that he is being soft.

  • dahon

    come to chicago next year Pau…dont give kobe a chance to win 6 rings..

  • mj23

    lol how about blaming the damn team leader like you did last year to lebron
    blame kobe he didnt even try