Breaking Down Pau Gasol’s Struggles and What Lakers Must Do to Fix It

What's wrong with Pau Gasol? It's a question that many Los Angeles Lakers fans have asked themselves this season, as their team has fallen to 17-25 and are far outside the Western Conference playoff race.

For a team that many considered an NBA championship favorite, this is obviously unacceptable. The team has already been coached by three men this season, and only one (Bernie Bickerstaff) has come away with a winning record.

It's a circus-like mess, ripe with in-fighting, bad coaching and lazy defense. But at least some of the Lakers' struggles center on Gasol. Once arguably the NBA's best big man, Gasol is in the midst of his worst professional season. He's averaging a paltry 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting only 43.1 percent from the floor.

If there's anyone who embodies the Lakers' struggles, it's Gasol. However, Gasol's struggles are actually rather explainable for those who have watched the Lakers this season. 

With that in mind, let's take a look at exactly why Gasol's play has gone into a tailspin and figure out a couple of ways the Lakers could fix it.


What's Wrong With Pau?


Mike D'Antoni is Wildly Misusing Him

When the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard, some wondered aloud whether he and Gasol could coexist in the post. At the time, most analysts scoffed at the notion, assuming that then-coach Mike Brown would use the Princeton offense to keep his seven-footers moving and setting up a rotation of post opportunities.

Brown got exactly five games to implement his system before being fired. 

D'Antoni, on the other hand, has a system predicated on only one post presence. His offensive system is one built on pick-and-rolls, floor spacing and shooters. Having two players consistently rotating in the post mucks up his spacing. And with Metta World Peace's defenders not having to worry about him knock...

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