L.A. Lakers Must Find Ways to Plant Pau Gasol in the Post

The Los Angeles Lakers are finally starting to pull things together despite the fact that three of their best players are dealing with some kind of an injury. Dwight Howard is still recovering from his back surgery, Steve Nash is out with a broken leg and Pau Gasol is dealing with a much less publicized bout with knee tendinitis. 

Obviously the knee isn't that big of a problem. Gasol hasn't missed any actual games, but he has played in limited minutes while averaging career lows in terms of points per game at 13.4 and field goal percentage at just over 43 percent.

It's easy to watch Gasol and see that something is obviously off. He's not sinking many jump shots at all, he's struggling to move laterally at times to corral rebounds and he just looks to be an older, slower version of himself.

Gasol has been slowly declining over the past few seasons, but a drop-off this quick seems to be more an anomaly than anything else. Gasol is shooting more than 13 percent worse than his first full season with the Lakers and nearly seven percent worse than he shot last season.

Part of the problem is going to be attributed to age and natural declination, but at some point there's got to be something done in the Lakers offense to get him the best possible shots, and that's just not happening right now.

The most concerning thing is that Mike D'Antoni seems keen to keep Gasol shooting jumpers, which might not be the best case for him right now:

D'Antoni was unworried about Pau but said his post-ups won't be like they used to be next to Odom: "You got a guy like Dwight Howard there."

— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) November 25, 2012

48 percent of Gasol's shots are mid-range jumpers, most of the time coming a few feet outside of the paint. Of those shots he's hitting just 38 percent. Compare that to a season ago when Gasol took just 40 percent of his shots from mid-range, from ...

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