Pau Gasol is the best scoring big man in the NBA today. His back-to-the-basket game, footwork, ability to finish with both hands, run the court and make the face-up jump shot are an unstoppable combination. He has without a doubt become a much tougher and ultimately better player since joining the Lakers in 2008.
Last night, Gasol posted some remarkable numbers against the Warriors at home. His 28 points on 10-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the free throw line were an example of his elite talents.
Watching the game, it was pretty obvious the Warriors did very little as far as battling Gasol in the paint. They made no effort to be physical with him. How that is acceptable if you’re Golden State is baffling to me, but that explains the beating they took. If you let the other team’s best big man get wherever he wants on the court without resistance, he is going to make you pay time and time again. Whether Gasol is posting up, in the flow of the triangle offense, or trying to secure an offensive rebound, you have to put a body on him, and do it consistently.
The last clip is a great example of the all-around player Gasol has become as he blocks the shot, runs the court and is rewarded by Lamar Odom for his effort. Gasol will rarely be stopped, but you have to battle him more than the Warriors did last night.