Defending Marc Gasol from Los Angeles Lakers fans

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 01: Marc Gasol #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at State Farm Arena on February 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 01: Marc Gasol #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at State Farm Arena on February 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

How Lakers head coach Frank Vogel can use Marc Gasol’s shooting slump as a weapon:  

Unlike KCP and LeBron, defenses are daring Marc Gasol to shoot three-pointers, as he is shooting an uncharacteristically low 30% from three-point range to date. Apparently, opposing coaches are Gasol haters too. Assuming defenses continue to not guard Gasol on the perimeter, the Lakers can still turn a negative into a positive.

For example, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr makes it a point to use his non-shooters as screeners to get Stephen Curry open looks. Opposing players would have to guard non-scorers like Kevon Looney straight up because Kerr would always use him as a screener for Curry or Klay Thompson whenever defenses play too far off Looney.

I would urge Coach Vogel to use Gasol the same way. When Gasol does not have the ball, he should set off-ball screens for the other four players. The man defending Gasol has to cover more ground since he is playing so far off him.

This will give the player coming off the screen that much more time to get an open shot. Also, Gasol is so big that it is hard for opposing guards to get through Gasol and closeout one second later. This will likely force Gasol’s man to jump out to hedge the screen.

If both defenders jump out on the shooter, Gasol is a threat to knock down the open three-pointer or to setup a give-and-go cut.

Conclusion:

At the very least, Marc Gasol has a positive role to play for the team. There is a good reason why Gasol was rumored to have almost signed with FC Barcelona this offseason to wrap up his professional basketball career. He knows he is nearing the end of his playing career. He is not as good as he was in Memphis or Toronto, but he is still a viable starting center in the NBA.

Next. 10 best Lakers teams of all-time. dark

Time will tell if the Lakers need to replace Gasol. Right now, the Lakers need to see what Gasol can do. If I am the only Lake Show Life contributor on the Gasol bandwagon, then so be it. But I would still urge Lakers fans to be patient with Gasol and the rest of the team.