Pau Gasol Proves He’s Best Big Man in Series—and in NBA

Pau Gasol has had to endure constant criticisms about his toughness, desire, and his perception as a soft player, and it all stems from his performance in the 2008 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

Disregard the only reason his Los Angeles Lakers were even able to qualify for the Finals in 2008 was because of Gasol's roster-changing addition near the mid point mark of the regular season.

Never mind that Gasol helped the Lakers capture a NBA championship the very next season, and has been a key reason Los Angeles has captured three consecutive Western Conference titles and appeared in each subsequent Finals series.

The public's perception of Gasol was crafted by the abuse he suffered at the hands of Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, and Glen Davis, and no matter what Gasol has done since 2008, he has yet to escape those images.

Until now.

Gasol's performance in Game One of the 2010 NBA Finals was a perfect rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song", and his dominant 23 point, 14 rebound, and three block clinic helped erase the demons which have followed him for so long.

No one has ever questioned the talent which courses through Gasol's veins, because he is simply one of the most skilled and versatile seven footers in the entire NBA.

Gasol has shooting range which extends to 15 feet, he can shoot with either hand, and he is just as good with his back to the basket as he is while facing the rim.

His defensive game is just as impressive because it is predicated on timing, precision, and intelligence rather than sheer force alone, and even though he will never be confused with Garnett, he gets abused far less often than he is given credit for.

Some choose to forget how instrumental Gasols' defense on Dwight Howard, who is considered the most physical center in basketball, was to the Lakers' championship in 2009.

Gasol's ability to defen...

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