Pau Gasol Is Officially the NBA’s Most Underappreciated Star

No star player in the NBA is as under-appreciated as Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol. As a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion, nobody takes more unwarranted heat for his team’s shortcomings than Gasol does for the Lakers.

Chris Bosh is another solid example of an under-appreciated NBA star, because he plays beside the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But even Bosh is respected more than Gasol in this regard. When Bosh was out during the playoffs last season with an abdominal injury, everyone took note of just how important he is to the Miami Heat.

Gasol, meanwhile, plays beside superstars named Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, but he takes a huge amount of blame when he plays below his lofty standards.

There’s no question that Gasol has had a difficult time adjusting to the presence of Dwight Howard in Los Angeles this season. Couple that with a variety of different offensive systems that don’t play exclusively to Gasol’s strengths, and there’s plenty of evidence as to why Gasol’s numbers have taken a hit.

Through 19 games this season, Gasol averaged 12.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Gasol’s numbers in those three categories are down across the board from his career averages.

Even though Gasol has clearly struggled, the Spaniard is averaging nearly four assists per game (3.7).

As a team player, Gasol recognizes his own offensive struggles, which have been highlighted by an abysmal 41.2-percent shooting clip from the field—the worst of his career. Gasol’s own offensive stats have been career lows, but he’s still making a concerted effort to get teammates involved by setting them up to score.

Gasol’s lack of confidence this season could certainly be attributed to the new offensive system. However, it’s also evident that Gasol hasn’t been 100-percent healthy.


About the Author