Posts Tagged ‘Pau Gasol’

After the Los Angeles Lakers got eliminated from this season’s NBA playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder many fans, and media, were calling for Coach Mike Brown’s head. That’s nothing new, they have wanted him to be fired all season.

But I’m here to tell you that he deserves another chance. You can’t just get rid of him. Yet.

And here’s why:

1. He’s the new guy. Mike Brown came in with a whole new system this season. Jim Buss made sure that all traces of The Triangle offense were gone. Brown had to bring in a whole mew system and the players weren’t too receptive. They even tried a mutiny and tried to bring The Triangle back. When the Mike Brown System was given a chance it worked. Every time the Lakers went inside to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum first, good things happened.

2. The Lockout. Mike Brown didn’t have a chance to introduce his system properly because of the lockout. He had to teach it to the players on the fly. Its like trying to change the tires on a NASCAR car while it’s still running on the track. With a proper training camp Brown will be able to teach his system the right way.

3. David Stern. If the trade of Gasol and Lamar Odom for Chris Paul and others had gone through the Lakers would be in he Western Conference Finals instead of being home. That non-trade sent the whole Lakers season into chaos. Just think about what might have been.

4. The Players. The Laker players never really bought in to Mike Brown’s system. Kobe Bryant was very cool to Brown early in the season. Andrew Bynum acted like a petulant little child most of the season and Gasol moped through the playoffs. Brown is going to have to win the players over if he wants to succeed. I think he can do it.

5. Kobe Bryant. I know this is a touchy subject because everybody flies off the handle whenever I criticize Kobe but he set the tone for the whole season when he refused to call Brown after he was hired. Kobe is the leader of this team and the other players will follow him. If Kobe makes nice with Brown, so will everyone else.

So there you have it, Mike Brown deserves another chance for all the above reasons. If the Lakers don’t win a title next year, then you can fire him.

My brother Tommy (@tsoliz602) and I argue about a lot of things. But mostly we like to argue about basketball. He is a San Antonio Spurs fan. I am a Lakers fan. (I think he may be adopted but my dad has never been willing to confirm this.)

We like to argue about which team dominated the 2000’s. I say it was the Lakers: six final appearances, four titles. He thinks it’s the Spurs: Three trips, three titles, perfect record. As you can see, he’s always wrong.

Lately, what we argue the most about is Pau Gasol. Tommy likes to call him “Chicken Man” a) because he looks like a chicken and b) because he’s “scared” to play down low with the big boys (aka Tim Duncan). Okay, he may resemble a chicken at times but one thing is for sure, Pau Gasol is certainly not soft!

Chris Dudley is soft. Kwame Brown is soft. Eric Dampier is soft. Pau is so far above these guys it not even funny.

Gasols’s game is more European than anything else. He can handle the ball better than any seven-footer in the game today. He passes the ball and facilitates plays better than most guards in the league. (Gilbert Arenas, I’m looking at you.)

The Lakers were better after Gasol’s arrival than they were before he showed up. Think about that. Gasol come to the Lakers midway through the 2007-2008 season and they rolled right into the NBA Finals. Unfortunately they lost to the Boston Celtics in six games. But they go right back to the Finals the next year and beat the Orlando Magic in five games. Currently the Lakers are three wins away from heading to the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

Tim Duncan may be the best power forward ever to play the game and Pau matches up with him in every category. In 12 seasons in the NBA, Tim Duncan’s stat line looks like this: 21.1 PPG, 3.2 APG, 11.6 RPG with 50% shooting. Gasol’s stats look like this after eight years in the league: 18.8 PPG, 3.2 APG, 9.0 RPG with 52% shooting.  As you can see, Gasol matches up nicely with Duncan. And Pau is only 29. By the time his career is over I’m sure he will match Duncan in every category, including NBA Championships.

So if you still think that Pau Gasol is soft, then, like my brother, you are wrong. And possibly adopted.