Pau Gasol’s Ultimate Training Camp Checklist for 2013-14 Season

The Los Angeles Lakers’ first season under Mike D’Antoni didn’t go as planned, and no one player epitomized that notion more than Pau Gasol.

Despite being a perennial All-Star candidate in the past, the big man averaged career lows in points, field-goal percentage and shot attempts. He played in just 49 games throughout the year, and his role waffled between starter, sixth man and occasional late-game benchwarmer.

Looking ahead to the 2013-14 campaign, Gasol’s top priority has to be health. He missed 33 games in 2012-13, and that can’t be the case if he hopes to regain momentum.

Staying healthy will be the foundation of his success, but with training camp officially underway, there are additional aspects to his game that deserve attention. Returning to form won’t be easy, but it’s something that must be done if the Lakers hope to make the postseason.


Get Back To Center

In Gasol’s defense, the position he plays is influenced by the players around him and the schemes of the head coach. The seven-footer was forced to play power forward alongside Dwight Howard, and D’Antoni had no objection when it came to turning him into a stretch-4.

Now, with Howard gone and D’Antoni re-evaluating his rotation, the big man must get back in the paint and rule the center position.

According to, Gasol played center just 12 percent of the Lakers’ total minutes last year. During that limited action, his Player Efficiency Rating (per 48 minutes) was 22.0, while his number at power forward was just 15.4.

But while the sample size was small during 2012-13, his numbers of the past make it clear where his most productive minutes are played.

During the 2009-10 season, Gasol was able to post a PER of 21.4 at power forward. That’s an impressive number, but once ag...

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