Sunday , May , 24 , 2009 Oly Sandor

L.A. Lakers will need more ‘Pau’ to win NBA Title

Kobe Bryant is the headline. And Pau Gasol is the side- story. This analysis seems reasonable when reviewing game three of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. After all, Bryant battled exhaustion to tally 41 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Gasol was, as usual, the solid second capo, notching 20 points on 7-of-12 attempts to go with 11 rebounds …


L.A. Lakers will need more 'Pau' to win NBA TitleThe latest NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: "Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter, drained the go-ahead shot from beyond the arc with just over a minute left, and hit some clutch free throws down the stretch as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Denver, 103-97, to take Game 3 of the Western Conference finals". (The Sports Network)

Our Very Quick Analysis:  Kobe Bryant is the headline. And Pau Gasol is the side- story.

This analysis seems reasonable when reviewing game three of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. After all, Bryant battled exhaustion to tally 41 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Gasol was, as usual, the solid second capo, notching 20 points on 7-of-12 attempts to go with 11 rebounds.

Numbers don’t tell the full story, though.

Bryant was spectacular, but the purple-and-gold seized momentum and won the game when they made a concerted effort to feed their Spanish post down low in the fourth quarter.

Simply put, Gasol is an underused asset. And if the Lakers are serious about hoisting the championship trophy come June, they’ll increase the role of their floppy-haired big man.

Gasol, as the leader of the Spanish national team, has had his share of successes and failures on the international stage. For example, he was the MVP of Spain’s 2006 FIBA World Championship, but also felt the sting of losing the 2007 Euro on home soil. Making, or even missing, a big shot won’t faze Gasol.

Gasol creates mismatches. At 7-0 and 250 pounds, the veteran towers over most four-men. Of course, he also possesses a soft touch and agile footwork, which makes him a difficult cover for both centres and power forwards. And last night, Gasol used his size and skill to outplay Denver’s Kenyon Martin and Nene.

During Saturday’s game, Bryant looked fatigued and worn down. Even ABC’s sideline reporter encouraged him to ‘get some rest’ in a post game interview. Increasing Gasol’s role is the best way to preserve Black Mamba’s health.

Gasol, playing next to Bryant, is always going to be the side-story. For the Lakers to win the NBA Title, he must become more of the headline.

Are the Lakers using Gasol properly? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of SantiMB.