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Lakers’ Gasol admits he needs to “snap out of it”

May 7, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two Getty Images

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.

  1. dunkmaster912 - May 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Of all the teams that have ever been down 0-3 in NBA playoff history, this laker team has probably the best chance of coming back to win the series. The Lakers could have very easily gone up 2-1 in this series if it wasnt for the terrible meltdown that they had at the ends of both games 1 and 3.

  2. liltmac2003 - May 7, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    *BRAKING NEWS*

    It’s been reported that LA was struck last night with a 6.0 earthquake. Scratch that, it was just Laker fans jumping off the bandwagon.

    • liltmac2003 - May 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      **BREAKING

    • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! GOOD ONE!!!

    • mytthor - May 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM

      You know, people need to relax with the LA bandwagon fan crap. I live in San Diego, and WE are some bandwagoning m’f’ers (not me, but most). LA only seems that way with the Lakers because the real fans are priced out. The celebs and rich crowd may not come out to games if the Lakers aren’t good. But there are tons of fans who bleed purple and gold whether our best 2 players are Shaq and Kobe or Van Exel and Elden Campbell. I think it’s that way with every team to some extent, just the nature of LA makes it more visible.

      • purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 6:30 PM

        mytthor: Unfortunately bandwagoners come out of the woodwork like cock roaches scurrying when the lights are turned on at night, and it happens in every city that winds up with a championship team (regardless of whether it’s a collegiate, professional or even minor sport team).

        The cases of the New England Patriotcheats and the LA Weepers are different though, because of the immense media coverage that they’ve enjoyed over the past decade many who don’t even have a team to root for across Southern California and New England have jumped on board, even though they didn’t give a damn about these teams prior to them winning championships.

        Those are the people who jumped off the Weepers bandwagon in droves last night though.

        We’ve all seen absurd posts over the past couple of months right here from posters who proclaim themselves to be “NBA fan experts” simply because they happen to live within ‘x’ miles of the Honda Center in Anaheim.

        These bandwagoners are so delusional that they think that there are no more potential NBA fans in Orange and Riverside county, because ALL that live there are Weeper fans… NOT!!!
        But this exactly what insecure bandwagoner fans do… they seek acceptance through numbers (real or imagined).

        Due to the long run the Weeers had under Coach Phil, it’s created a lot of real NBA fan backlash from lifelong NBA fans like me. I don’t care what Luke Walton had for dinner last night, nor where he ate (or for that matter if he even did eat!), yet when the number of bandwagon fans becomes so great, this is what happens time after time after time.

  3. zackd2 - May 7, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Melo goes 47/17 and gets criticized. Amare plays with a messed up back and gets criticized. Pau plays with a broken heart and this is the first article criticizing him.

    • cordae - May 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      “a broken heart” lol good one. One things for sure…

      This is the longest series of his life.

    • htimsr40 - May 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Pay attention. Gasol has been catching TONS of criticism, even last round which they won. BTW, Gasol’s team is still playing … Melo’s team is NOT. As I recall, the Knicks were SWEPT in round one. When the TEAM wins, the individual players get less criticism.

      • zackd2 - May 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Gasol’s team is about to get swept – with Gasol, Bynum, Kobe, Odom, and Artest.
        Melo’s team got swept – with Melo, and….uh….Douglas, Fields, Jeffries, Turiaf & Amare with a bad back.
        HUGE f’ing difference.

        Oh, and i went to Foxsports, ESPN, ESPNLA, LA Times, and NBA.com and there were only 2 articles mainly on Gasol. Out of 10. The rest either ignored him or had 2 sentences about his “funk”

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      What are you getting so worked up about. Players get criticized instead of giving the opposing player credit for playing them well. It’s typical sports-fan mentality and YOU are contributing to it.

  4. purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    I’m, now really, really excited about the next three to four years in the NBA, because the Lakers are going to find themselves stuck in no mans land until Kobe finally retires and moves aside. No mans land is when teams aren’t bad enough to get into the lottery to get a shot at a potential impact player, but not good enough to win more than one series in the playoffs.

    I am going to truly enjoy the Lakers being caught in this no mans land while watching thousands jump off the bandwagon and Kobe becoming more and more of a malcontent! The one thing worse than “Patriot Fatigue” and “Eldrick the Creep fatigue” is “Laker fatigue!”

  5. sydneysachs - May 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Hey, Zack (“… and this is the first article criticizing him”),

    You must not do a whole lot of reading… Pau has been flogged all over the place. But kudos to Kurt Helin for realizing what very few others have: Without Gasol, the Lakers do not/can not win. This championship reign began only when he came to L.A. and hadn’t stopped… until now. ‘Cause (sadly) he’s disappeared. End of story.

    The only BIG question left in my mind–and somebody tell us, puhlease–is what the heck is going on with him?!? One of the strangest “transformations” in sports I’ve ever seen. At least in this case, we know it isn’t steroid withdrawal. ;- (

    • zackd2 - May 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      I’m not talking about blogs, those obviously get on players. I’m talking about national media.

      Fox Spots – Witz- “You can blame ARtest for Game 3 Loss.” Gasol wasn’t fresh because Artest couldn’t play.

      ESPN – Adande’s piece has a whole 5 sentences regarding Gasol.
      ESPN – Stein mentioned Pau funk for one sentence.
      ESPNLA – McMenamin- no mention of Pau’s play in his piece
      ESPNLA – Kamentzky- yes all over Pau

      LA Times – Bresnahan “Should Odom keep his starting spot in Game 4?”
      LA Times – Plaschke – just passes over Pau

      NBA.com- Pau’s the 4th story, but does rip him.

      That’s 2 stories plus this one, compare that to the crap Melo & Amare received. But I’m sure the response will be this: Pau has a ring! He’s a winner! (With the help of Bynum, Odom, Kobe, Ariza, Artest, Phil Jackson)

  6. maryanne24 - May 7, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    u still good.

  7. purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Headline in one of today’s LA newspapers: “THE PURPLE AND OLD!”

  8. purdueman - May 7, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Funny how all of a sudden most of the Laker homers that frequent this board have suddenly disappeared, isn’t it? I wonder if Phil has had his motorcycle shipped out to Dallas so that he can head home to Montana immediately after tomorrow nights game?

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 3:20 AM

      Wow, boilerdude. You’re resorting to the same kind of bs that you complain about. But that’s Sportsfan mentality, idn’t it?

      • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 3:33 AM

        davidly… no, I’m not in any way attacking any fellow posters directly, but as the old saying goes, “if the shoe fits, wear it!”.

        As a matter of fact, I’m willing to help the Laker Homers out there who are rumored to be seeking a tall bridge to jump of! What are friends for? Here’s the link:

        http://www.sanpedro.com/sp_point/vtbrdg.htm

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 4:25 AM

      Well that’s just super classy of you. Well done!

      • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        davidly: “Revenge is best served cold”. Laker Honks, for all the b.s. we’ve all had to put up with over your “guaranteed three peat”, and “dynasty”, these posts are for you!!!

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      “Revenge is best served cold”? I dunno who you’re quoting, but you are arguing with a monolith about nothing. I suspect you spend too much time on too many threads.

      • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        davidly says: “I suspect you spend too much time on too many threads.”

        Now THAT’s FUNNY!!! The pot calling the kettle black!!! LOL!!!

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      I’m talking about how you bring your Lakers gripe to every thread, even when it has nothing to do with LA. I keep my topics straight.

  9. kwr39 - May 7, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    The Mavericks or doing something special. It is called teamwork, not me work.

  10. davidly - May 8, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    I’m not sure how much of this is just Gasol and his mental state. A bit, sure.

    But that probably has a lot to do with who he has been playing against. His opponents this year have been a better match-up against him than in years previous. And it has been more than one person in each series. Combine that with the fact that his role has changed slightly, with Bynum back in full-time.

    At the risk of sounding like a one-note-davidly, the analysis here and just about everywhere else is typical sports-urinalist blabber: Find a scapegoat instead of giving credit where credit is due.

  11. omniusprime - May 8, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Yes, will the real Pau Gasol Please stand up! I’m glad that Pau understands he has to step up his game in order for the Lakers to win games against the Mavs. Now it’s a matter of him going out on the court and playing the way he can.

    You can always tell how ignorant sports pundits are when they ask stupid questions like does Pau’s current lameness in the playoffs ruin his legacy of winning two championships and the answer is no it doesn’t! What he accomplished earlier is a matter of history that he can always be proud of. His current funk during this year’s playoffs only ruins the chances of winning a threepeat for this team.

    If any team can make history coming back from an 0-3 deficit it’s the Repeat World Champion Lakers. All they have to do is win one game at a time, just as Dallas did to gain a 3-0 advantage. All Pau has to do is look at how energetic and tough Andrew Bynum is playing and draw inspiration to do the same. He needs to knock Dirk around just as Bynum is knocking Chandler around, the Mavs are a soft team and it’s time that the Lakers start pushing them around the way they’re supposed to come playoff time.

    Most importantly get a good lead and hold it. Also make sure to keep the ball and players moving at the end of the game and POUND the ball into the paint for easy scores. The Lakers need to trust Bynum late in games and get him the ball down low where he’s unstoppable! Come on Lakers, win one and get back to Staples Tuesday night!

    • davidly - May 8, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      I agree on two points:
      – One game at a time (though I wouldn’t hold my breath).
      – Keep the lead. Each time they had a lead in the fourth quarter, they played on offense as if they just wanted to run out the clock – which hurt them on defense.

      As far as Pau goes, that second point could have won the games even without him putting up bigger numbers.

  12. bobthis - May 8, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Lakers in 7.

  13. texangirl - May 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    What’s happening right now proves that Gasol is very valuable to the Lakers. If Gasol would just play like he normally does then the Lakers would be two up, I’ll give Dallas one game.

    Something is happening to Gasol and I can’t figure it out. The way Phil Jackson thumped Gasol on his chest during Friday’s game and Gasol just stood there says volumes. It’s like he’s not there. Really strange.

  14. kwr39 - May 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    The Mavericks dont really have any big name popular players except Dirk. However they do have TEAMWORK.

  15. htimsr40 - May 8, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Gasol may be “out of it” mentally … but the Lakers are shooting 19% from 3-point range versus 35% during the regular season. Gasol obviously isn’t the only player “out of it” in this series. Given the 52 threes they have taken, LAL “should” have made 18, not 10 … another 24 points from 3-range.

    Gasol is 15-35. If he was hitting 52.9%, that would be 19-35, another 8 points. Let’s see, 24 points from sub-par 3-pt shooting and 8 points from sub-par Gasol shooting. There are other factors, yes, but the reality is that Gasol is only a part of the story. The TEAM needs to shoot better against a “soft” defense like the Mavs.

    If his teammates are hitting their shots, the Gasol story is a sidebar, not the meat. You win as a team. You lose as a team. Gasol is one of several players for LAL who is not playing up to his regular season.

  16. cleareye1 - May 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Gasol’s problem are purely personal. He has to look inside and ask himself- do I want to win? Not for the team, for his family, or anything else. Does he want to win for himself- period.

  17. cleareye1 - May 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Gasol’s problem are purely personal. He has to look inside and ask himself- do I want to win? Not for the team, for his family, or anything else. Does he want to win for himself- period.

  18. gqrlh - May 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    That is so true; it is too late. It’s hard to separate the two. Your personal life will always out weight your professional life. I wish Pau the best in the future, and if the rumors are true; I hope things will work themselves out for the better. LA will make some moves this off season for the future. Phil had a great career being a great coach at the highest level of basketball; my hats of to him, and his family! LA we will be back strong next year!! I love LA!!!

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