Pau Gasol’s Struggles Against the Pick and Roll Hurting Lakers Defensively

On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers lost their eighth game of the season, dropping them back below .500, 15 games into the season.

The Tuesday night contest against the Pacers was an ugly one, with both teams shooting below 40 percent from the field and below 25 percent from range.

Both teams struggled to score, but down the stretch, the Pacers decided to attack Pau Gasol in the pick and roll. They scored on each of their last two possessions, including George Hill’s game-winning layup with .1 seconds left on the clock. 

Attacking Pau in P&R situations hasn’t been new to this Lakers team. As Pau has aged, he’s become more slow-footed and hasn’t been able to move his feet against opposing point guards.

This weakness has only been amplified by the fact that the Lakers perimeter defenders haven’t been able to fight through screens during Pau’s whole tenure in Los Angeles.

The result has been Pau isolated by a smaller, quicker guard after opposing offenses achieved the switch they intended to create in the 1-4 P&R. 

On Tuesday, the Pacers ran 16 P&R sets. They ran nine with Gasol on the floor and seven with him on the bench.

While Gasol was on the floor, seven of the nine P&Rs were run with his man setting the screen. The Pacers blatantly attacked Gasol’s inability to move laterally, and they had some success.

Keeping in mind that they shot 34 percent on the night, the Pacers shot 33 percent on all P&R sets and that was the second-highest they shot in all half-court situations (they found back-side cutters with regularity, which led to easy buckets).

It was the 1-4 P&R, however, that gave the Lakers fits and ultimately cost them the game. Let’s take a look at how the Pacers attacked Gasol. 

With Gasol on the floor in the last minute of a one-point game, the Pa...

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