Pau Gasol admits that he needs to “play a little smarter”


Pau Gasol had yet another lackluster performance on Friday night as the Los Angeles Lakers (3-4) fell to the New Orleans Pelicans (3-3).

Gasol went 3-for-12 from the field and ended with 11 rebounds, while the night before he went 1-for-10 with 12 boards in a win at Houston.

Over the last four games, Pau is shooting just 13-for-49 (26 percent). If the Lakers want to continue flirting with the .500 mark until Kobe Bryant returns, Pau is going to have to play better, and the Spaniard is the first person to admit this, according to Mark Medina:

[pullquote]“I just didn’t play very smart against a good defensive player that uses his length and athleticism,” Gasol said. “I just kept going to the same move without making adjustments. That’s something a player with my experience shouldn’t do.”

“It bothers me. It frustrates me,” Gasol said. “I’m going to continue to try. We’re going to continue to try as a team and unit. We can’t do it individually. But I understand the responsibility within the team. It’s pretty obvious. I have to be sharper. I just got to play a little smarter. I might not have all the speed and all the explosiveness I used to have years ago. But I still have to use my experience and fundamentals to be effective every single night regardless of who we’re playing.”[/pullquote]

Pau Gasol is shooting entirely to much – shows that 47.7 percent of Gasol’s shots so far this season have come from outside of the paint.

I think Mike D’Antoni has completely forgotten that Gasol is a seven-footer. Get him in the post, Pau is not Amare Stoudemire. Career statistics show that Pau Gasol is much more of an effective player when he plays within 13 feet of the rim.

Since D’Antoni’s arrival, Pau has gone from a Top 5 center to a overpaid power forward. These days, I see no aggression going to the rim.

The Lakers aren’t a horrible team – they are entirely better than I possibly could’ve imagined – but Pau Gasol is going to have to shoot better than 35.2 percent from the field if the purple and gold want to exceed their expectations this season.

This is an article by Quayshawn Hallenbeck. You can follow him on Twitter: @burghbest

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VIDEO: Pau Gasol sets up Chris Kaman for the score with the nice behind-the-back pass

VIDEO: Lakers @ Pelicans – full highlights (11/08/13)