Pau Gasol Must Stand Tall in the Face of His Boston Tormentors

The Boston Celtics play a rugged, physical brand of basketball which is in direct contrast to the more precision-based style the Los Angeles Lakers prefer.

The Celtics have no problem with turning any contest into a battle of brawn, and each member of their team vocally takes pride in afflicting abuse on any opponent—especially the Lakers.

The re-emergence of Andrew Bynum's partially torn meniscus as a problem puts the Lakers in a bad place heading into Game Five of the 2010 NBA Finals because if Bynum is unable to play, someone else will have have to be the physical presence that Bynum represented.

The only problem is Bynum is the only player on the Lakers' roster who seems comfortable standing toe-to-toe with the Celtics' strong-men and Game Four may have been an ominous sign of things to come.

The pain from Bynum's injury limited him to 12 minutes in Game Four and the Celtics immediately took advantage as Glen Davis became an unstoppable force on offense and the boards.

The momentum has swung in the favor of Boston heading into Game Five, and if the Lakers hope to capture the magic from their two victories, Pau Gasol must assume a more visible stance than he did in Game Four.

Gasol is not a physical type player which is a well known fact around NBA circles and it would be ridiculous to assume he could re-shape his entire game in the space of a few days.

But in order for the Lakers to be successful in the next game and the series, Gasol will have to offer more physical resistance to the Celtics' front line than he did in Game Four.

Gasol is the prototype European player from culture to style and his game is more based on the fundamental and finesse aspects of basketball—something the Celtics have been able to exploit.

Gasol beats opponents with his highly refined skills, intelligence, and footwork but when an opponent attacks him with s...

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