Mike D’Antoni won’t agree with this take. Jim Buss certainly isn’t going to side with anything I say let alone my opinion on this matter. The Lakers record this season doesn’t help make a case for the value of any player on the roster not named Kobe Bryant.
With that said Pau Gasol is more valuable to the Lakers’ than Dwight Howard.
This is by no means any reflection on which player has the better outlook on their career. Though at this point Gasol is looking like an eventual Hall of Famer while Howard could be nothing more than an NBA footnote in the superstar category.
However given all that Gasol brings to the team with regards to his versatility, championship pedigree and perhaps most important of all his iron proof skin forged in fires of Mordor (aka the Kobe dominated locker room in Los Angeles) there is no doubt who the Lake Show will miss more.
Ironically it’s Gasol who is the better fit for D’Antoni’s misguided hoops philosophy even though he has no clue the nature of the Spaniard’s game. At least Pau has the shooting touch to step outside of his comfort zone. If Howard doesn’t have a running start and two feet in the paint you can go ahead and put a turnover in the box score.
And let’s not even debate the difference in free throw shooting. Chris Dudley turns away from the scree when D12 is at the line.
Most important of all is that Gasol has been there and done that. He’s been though the fire of media scrutiny that comes with putting on Purple and Gold. Howard, on the other hand, looks like a beaten puppy whenever microphones crowd him after another lackluster loss. At least Gasol knows how to put on a poke face.
At this point nothing can save this lost season so losing Gasol is par for the course. Even with a healthy compliment of talent the Lakers’ playoff chances were Lamar Odom touching finger tips with Kevin Durant long. Still, the inherent value in Gasol’s game was evident during that modest three game win streak on the road. Sure, those Ws all came against inferior opponents but there was no doubt how much better the team looked with Gasol in his natural position.
As for Howard…we’re all waiting to see his real value be revealed. Right now about all he’s good for is generating headlines.