On the rare occasion that Kobe Bryant has an off night, you’d expect L.A.’s other All-Star, Pau Gasol, to step up and take advantage of the extra opportunities that would naturally come his way.
But that’s only if he’s actually getting extra opportunities. After last night’s loss to the Sixers, where Kobe only had 11 points while Gasol went for 25 on 9-for-12 shooting from the field and 7-for-9 at the line, Gasol made a little noise to the local media that he’d appreciate more chances to score. From the Riverside Press-Enterprise:
“I’m shooting really well right now, but I wish I could just get a couple more looks even if the percentage goes down a little,” Gasol said. “Obviously they come and they try to double, but let them keep coming. That means somebody else is open and somebody gets a wide-open shot.”
In the Lakers’ previous game, a win over Dallas on Sunday where they nearly blew another second-half lead, Gasol had gone 10-for-10 in the first half before getting only three shots in the second half when the Mavs started playing zone. L.A. Daily News columnist Ramona Shelburne wrote after that game that Gasol needs the ball more, but that he’s not the type to rock the boat by asking for it.
“The furthest the serenely talented Spaniard will ever come to complaining is an acknowledgement of polite frustration …” Melburne wrote. “Then he’ll hint. Politely. Passively, so as not to ruffle any feathers on what has become one of the most harmonious teams in the NBA.”
For the season Gasol is putting up 18.7 points per game on 821 field goal attempts, an average of 12.6 shots a night. That’s barely more than Wilson Chandler (12.4), and less than the likes of Al Thornton (15.3), Richard Jefferson, Jeff Green (14.0) and Ray Felton (12.9). Granted, those numbers don’t take into account how often a player gets to the line. And among true post players who rank in the NBA’s Top-50 scorers, Gasol’s numbers don’t look as bad; he’s behind only Yao, Duncan, David West, Al Jefferson, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh in shot attempts per game.
Do you think Gasol needs to get the ball more?
Source: Riverside Press-Enterprise