Pau Gasol Unhappy With Role in the Lakers’ Offense?
The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Indiana Pacers last night, their third straight defeat. And Pau Gasol sounds like he’s less than thrilled with the way he’s being used on offense. Per ESPN: “[Brian] Shaw came back to Staples Center Sunday as a Pacers assistant, a man with a little extra motivation and a lot of insight into the Lakers players. Some things haven’t changed. Kobe Bryant is still going to shoot and shoot a lot. But one thing that didn’t look familiar to Shaw was the sight of Pau Gasol setting up in far different spots on the court than he did when the Lakers ran the triangle offense under Jackson. ‘I did notice that he’s out on the floor a lot more, a lot further away from the basket,’ Shaw said. ‘So that kind of neutralizes him. Those two big guys [Gasol and Andrew Bynum], that’s always been the strength of this team. You want your biggest guys close to the basket. Their sets are a little different, they’re out there more on the elbow area — even sometimes Pau’s out around the three-point line. I think maybe it’s just going to take them a little time to get adjusted to the new places that he’s at on the floor. In the triangle they knew where their shots were going to come night-in and night-out.’ Now Gasol is left to wonder, and register a complaint. At least, I think it’s a complaint. When Gasol said it, it was in a tone that sounded like he was ordering dinner. But it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t like the way he’s being used in Mike Brown’s offense. ‘I would like to get a little more inside, myself,’ Gasol said. ‘I always like to have different looks and be able to attack from different angles. The second half I didn’t have one chance to attack from the post, so I was more of a facilitator. I got two jumpers, open, that I missed, and that was all the opportunities that I had.’ Technically, he also got a basket at the rim that the Pacers conceded with a four-point lead in the final seconds. But he spent most of the night on the perimeter, occasionally heeding Bryant’s call to come over to set a high screen, or else following Kobe’s direction to spread out to give Kobe operating space. The low post belongs to Bynum. And while Gasol is happy to get Bynum the ball there — including with a nice alley-oop that was among 10 Gasol assists — Gasol wants a few touches down in the paint himself. ‘A little too many jumpers for my taste,’ Gasol said. ‘I’d like to get a couple more looks inside the paint. That’ll increase the [shooting] percentage.’”