May 7, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT
One thing we have learned from this postseason — the Lakers are not nearly as good without Pau Gasol.
Technically they have had Gasol. He has played 36 minutes a game through the Lakers’ nine playoff games. But he hasn’t been the same guy as he was in the regular season. That Gasol put up 18.8 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting. The Gasol of the playoffs has averaged 13.4 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting. Dirk Nowitzki is shooting 76 percent this series when Gasol is on him. Gasol’s regular season PER of 23.3 is All-Star level; his playoff PER of 16.9 is just a slightly above average player.
The Lakers can’t win that way, and Marc Spears of Yahoo quoted Gasol after Game 3 as saying he realizes that.
He’s “out of it” mentally and hasn’t been able to be “effective or comfortable out there,” but couldn’t explain why and says he needs to “snap out of it.” Time is running out….
“It’s been tough,” Gasol simply said. “It’s been tough more than anything [because] of the losses.”
When asked if this poor playoff season ruins his previous Laker accomplishments, Gasol sternly responded: “You tell me? Should it? I don’t know. I don’t think so.”
It shouldn’t — the Lakers wouldn’t have the two rings they do without him.
I’ve know all about the rumors of the strife in Gasol’s personal life and … it doesn’t matter. That’s his personal life and it should stay his personal life.
Whatever the reason for his play, he does need to snap out of it. But frankly, it’s too late for this season.