Pau Gasol has been twisting in the wind for more than a year now. Seemingly every trade rumor involving the Lakers begins with Gasol and that was true when Andrew Bynum was still parking in handicapped spots in Los Angeles.
Now that Gasol has survived the Dwight Howard sweepstakes you’d think his Los Angeles residency would feel a little more permanent. However as we’ve come to learn it will be a real process for Mike D’Antoni to get the most out of Pau. The early returns aren’t good and some are wondering if a trade might not be the best solution possible.
Mike Brown’s desire to make Bynum the man in the middle forced Pau out of his comfort zone which is playing in the paint. Enter D’Antoni and now Gasol is really being forced further from the hoop.
Thus far it has been painful watching Pau search for his place on the court. Offensively his shooting percentage and scoring are down and defensively he’s not the same presence on the glass. Even more troubling is that Pau is pining for the Triangle offense he once flourished in.
“It put me in a natural position for me, which was post. I could score and I could pass. It was a perfect fit for me when I got here and Andrew was out. I had a lot of minutes and it was a need to cover. Now it’s a different personnel, different need, different look, different system, different positioning. As a professional, you adjust to a different position in your company and try to do your best so the company still finds you a valuable asset and the company still performs as well as it did before.”
Notice Pau’s use of the past tense there. It’s almost as if Gasol is quietly hinting at a former coach that could have been the Lakers current coach. I’ll let you guess which coach that would be.