NBA Playoffs 2011: Pau Gasol’s Triple Means More Than Just 3 Points for Lakers

Pau Gasol has been burned at the stake this past week because of his "soft" performances during the first two games of the playoffs.

In Game 3 however, Pau played a significant role in the Lakers win. The turning point of Pau's gameplay was probably his three-pointer that he drained early in the 4th quarter to give the Lakers a 78-70 lead. He later made several key shots and pounded the ball inside to help the Lakers cruise to victory.

Three-pointers from Pau Gasol are very rare despite him being a great outside shooter. But when he gets them, his confidence grows and the Lakers perform well.

Ever since the great trade that brought the Spaniard to Los Angeles, Gasol has made just three triples.

In the 2008-09 season, he drained one at New Orleans, coincidentally, in late December. The game after that, Pau stepped up huge against the Boston Celtics in a Christmas showdown.

This was the first game against the Celtics since they defeated the Lakers in the 2008 Finals where Pau was first guilty of being a soft player in big moments. He scored 20 points and had three blocks in the Laker win that Christmas.

His next triple came this season at San Antonio. We all know what happened in that game in Texas. The Lakers destroyed the Spurs and went on a winning binge. They went 16-1 after the All-Star break and sealed the second seed in the West.

And this leads to his final triple which came last night at New Orleans again. Immediately after the three, Pau finished with a strong quarter. All of this after being crushed by the national media because of his poor performances in the first two games of the playoffs.

Do Pau's three pointers really instill confidence in him?

Will we see a more effective Pau in the weeks to come?

Are the two even related?

We may never know if they are related but a big three pointer can definitely give a confidence boost ...

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