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Pau Gasol says the Lakers don’t need to make big changes

Oct 31, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

After winning back-to-back NBA titles, the Lakers looked flat in the playoffs last season. Pau Gasol looked flat. The Dallas Mavericks looked anything but flat, they were playing smart and passionate ball. The result was Dallas unceremoniously sweeping the champions aside.

That led some Lakers fans — a fan base that can have the disposition of a nervous poodle at times — to call for big changes.

Pau Gasol doesn’t see it that way. That’s what he told Brian Kamenetzky over at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“It’s not that we have to change who we are. We are who we are, and I think we’re perfectly fine with that. We just have to make sure we work as hard as anybody in the league, or the hardest. Want it as bad as anybody, or the [most], and that’s it. Be on the same page. Those three things are the basics of success, as being champions and becoming champions. I think that’s what we do. It’s not about doing fundamentally, or even tactically– you can have the tactical strategy that you want, but you have to have the basics.”

There is one big change — Mike Brown is in and Phil Jackson is out as coach. That will mean changes in offensive and defensive philosophy. And a very different energy.

“Well, we haven’t had a chance to work with our new coach yet, but from the feeling I got, he comes in with a lot of energy, and a lot of passion, and wants to help this team continue to be successful. That’s a plus. I think that’s a good way to go.”

Here’s what it comes down to with the Lakers — will they play defense for Brown? That is the key. They didn’t for Jackson last playoffs. This lineup with Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum is going to score. Yes, they need to figure out the point guard spot now, but the offense will be there.

But will the Lakers buy into what Mike Brown sells? They don’t really have a choice, they don’t have a year to waste fighting change, they need to buy in from day one. And then they need to recommit to the defensive end. Do that, and the Lakers are again title contenders. Fail and their window closes fast.

  1. trbowman - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    “That led some Lakers fans — a fan base that can have the disposition of a nervous poodle at times — to call for big changes.”

    Gotta love ‘em.

    Lakers are too big to fail. If they ever hit the lottery, look for them to “miraculously” pick high.

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 31, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      yeah, like last time when they picked 10th?

      Maybe, just maybe, the fact that they have one of the best owners in sports in Buss, have had stability and power in the front office in West and Kupchak for years, and have had the player of his generation in Kobe Bryant has something to do with it.

      Or maybe, they’re just too big to fail.

  2. rreducla1 - Oct 31, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Lakers are too big to fail. If they ever hit the lottery, look for them to “miraculously” pick high

    ________________________________________

    Yeah, like the last time when they got the 10th pick.

    The Lakers really CAN’T make big changes unless one of the LakerFanDreamScenarios (Howard or Paul) actually materializes and the new CBA allows it.

    I am hoping in about a week or so we can start talking about all this kind of stuff for all the teams instead of talking about the lockout.

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