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You wouldn't think an All Star would get bored during the Finals, but just in case...

June 3, 2009 | 11:44 am

For my money, the guy with the most interesting gig in this year's Finals is Pau Gasol.  Defensively, he'll start on Rashard Lewis, he of the NBA leading 554 three pointers during the regular season, 68 more than the next guy in line (that would be Ray Allen).  While long distance bombing is his strength, Lewis can put the ball on the floor and penetrate enough to keep his man honest.  He's certainly a mobile 6'10". Then, of course, Pau will move along to Dwight Howard, who led the league in dunks by 23 over the guy in second.  (Shaq Something-or-other.)  His is, as the saying goes, strong like bull. 

This is like playing guitar in an Andres Segovia revue one day then ripping for a death metal band the next night.  You just don't expect the same dude to do both.  Having done the whole PF/C thing for much of the year, Gasol is used to picking up a few different dudes during a game.  But it's rare to get two such diametrically opposed styles in the same game.  For (potentially) seven games in a row.  That's a lot of recalibration on the fly. 

"It's not easy at all.  It's a challenge that I'm going to face all series long," Gasol told me Tuesday at practice.  "I have to be mentally ready and physically ready to move my feet and chase Rashard, and guard him at the three point line and also his penetration.  His ability to penetrate.  Then to battle and wrestle with Dwight when Andrew goes out."

"It's as simple as that, and as hard as that, too."


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