Pau Gasol’s Offseason To-Do List For Maximizing Impact With Los Angeles Lakers

Pau Gasol was once considered an impact player and was valued as a high-class big man in the NBA. I'm here to tell you that after turning 33 in July, he will be as capable as ever of turning in valuable minutes. 

That's not to tell you Pau doesn't have flaws or critical facets of his game to fix up before a new season begins. That's what we've come here to discuss. 

Gasol has to improve his defense and rebounding, toughness and ability to play off the bench. That's quite an offseason.


Defense and Rebounding

When the bullfighter waves his red flag and the confused bull rushes under the empty curtain, a frenzied crowd yells "olé." While the Staples Center is hardly a Spanish bullfighting ring, the Lakers' 7-foot Spaniard has given his crowd reason to call out "olé."

Unfortunately for Pau, his crowd does so with far less adoration and rather wishes he would stay firmly in front of his adversaries when they approached the basket.

Fortunately, for the keys to being a successful rim protector, he need look no further than to his own brother, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. 

What he could learn how to do is efficiently use his length within the bounds of the NBA's verticality rules. That means staying tall and using his long arms to block more shots and make the offense's job a challenge. All without picking up fouls. 

His still-unsigned potential teammate Dwight Howard is well-versed in the art of defending the paint. Even in an injury-plagued season, Howard was among the strongest at his position. 

They both need to rebound better. The Lakers finished fourth in total rebounding, but they placed only ninth in the NBA in rebounding differential, only capitalizing for plus-2.15 per game (per statistics). I may be a bit critical, as those are both top-10 efforts, but a team wit...

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