Charting Pau Gasol’s Decline as a Los Angeles Laker

Pau Gasol's fall from grace has been a steady one.

The towering power forward hasn't suddenly removed himself from atop the NBA's hierarchy; he hasn't hit rock bottom as the result of a free-fall.

Instead, Gasol's demise has been a gradual process. As the Los Angeles Times notes, his struggles date back to the 2010-11 postseason, when Phil Jackson could be found pounding his chest "to try to inspire him."

More troubling, than that, however, is that Gasol's downfall dates even further back than there. His offensive production over the past three seasons has noticeably declined and subsequently culminated in him nearly falling out of favor with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Some would use such a reality to further the "Trade Pau" causes that are currently littering the web. Others would use it prove that, at 32, Gasol is officially washed up.

Me, though? I use it to do neither, because the Pau Gasol we have seen over the past two-plus seasons is not an accurate indication of who the real Pau Gasol is.

The Gasol we know, the one that was named to four All-Star teams, is a versatile big man who can thrash defenses in the post, dominate off pick-and-rolls and even be called upon to hit an outside jumpshot.

Somewhere along the lines of his Hollywood career, though, the latter became Gasol's actual calling card, not a compliment to his game.

When Gasol first arrived in Tinseltown, no more than 30.2 percent of his shot attempts were coming outside of nine feet. Since 2009-10, however—when 26.9 percent of his shots came from outside nine feet—the percentage has risen each and every season. And now, a startling 53.7 percent of his field-goal attempts are coming from the outside.

Is that a problem? 

If Gasol was scoring more as a result, then no. But he's not. He's scoring less. Much less.

Currently, Gasol is averaging 13.1 p...

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