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Lakers' Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum establish chemistry in Lakers' 126-86 victory over Clippers


Lakers forward Pau Gasol pulled center Andrew Bynum to the side, hoping to address the news reports and Bynum's own self-assessment that mostly reach the same conclusion.

The verdict that says Bynum's game flourishes only when Gasol isn't out on the floor.

With Gasol making his return Friday against the Clippers after missing the last six games because of a strained left hamstring, he didn't want Bynum to follow the negative expectation he and the news media already predicted would happen.

"I just told him to stay aggressive and just be aggressive," Gasol said. "That’s it. That’s the bottom line. You might miss; you might not. But you just go to the post, demand the ball and do your move and play the way you've been playing when I'm not out there."

That's exactly what happened in the Lakers' 126-86 victory over the Clippers, with the two both posting 20 points in what became the Lakers' second-largest margin of victory over the Clippers.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson described the chemistry as just "all right," adding that Gasol looked a "little rusty," including his shooting technique and spacing that resulted in a four of 13 clip. Jackson had also proclaimed the "game ball" went to guard Derek Fisher for his six assists and season-high eight rebounds, which was more than Bynum's seven and Gasol's six. And then there was Kobe Bryant's 30 points on 10 of 20 shooting, which suggested his back spasms and fractured right index finger are improving. 

At least for one game, however, Bynum and Gasol proved they could coexist, establishing a blueprint for replicating that chemistry for games to come.

That blueprint entailed giving Bynum early touches, a habit he routinely says is a necessity for any good performance. Though Bynum's comments suggest immaturity, the approach worked and resulted in 10 first-quarter points.

Bynum made constant cuts across the lane for easy baskets. He performed simple but effective drop step moves against an ineffective DeAndre Jordan, who was playing in place of the Clippers' leading scorer, Chris Kaman (back). Bynum proved to be just as quick after the game, being nowhere present in the locker room when the news media arrived.

"Most of the time we give him the ball early in the game," Jackson said of Bynum. "There’s no doubt about it, he starts quickly. He usually has the stamina to go good in the first quarter. That’s why we emphasize that."

Meanwhile, Gasol's 20 points mostly came by drawing trips to the free throw line, converting a perfect 12 of 12 from the stripe. Though the Clippers opened the second quarter with an 11-0 run, the Lakers chipped away for a 53-50 halftime lead. They then opened the second half reeling off a 12-1 run that featured a Gasol hook shot, a Gasol jumper and a Bynum dunk.

Gasol hopes that type of sequence can play out in every game. He's well aware of Bynum's statistics though: After averaging more than 20 points and 12 rebounds during Gasol's 11-game absence (right hamstring) at the beginning of the season, Bynum entered Christmas averaging only 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. And he had entered Friday's game with four double doubles in the last five contests while Gasol sat out. 

Though Bynum and Jackson said some of the December drop-off also had to do with sinus, asthma and knee issues, Gasol doesn't want his presence to be an issue too. After all, the Lakers are 20-3 with Gasol and 11-6 without him. And that's the most important statistic of all.

"We have great chemistry and I want him to be as aggressive as he has been in the last couple games that I've been out and aggressive as he was tonight," Gasol said. "When he's aggressive and he gets in the lane, he's tough to cover and he's very productive. I want him to stay aggressive and not be passive just because I get some looks also in the post because I'm also effective. We both have to be effective. We both have to be aggressive."  

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected].

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol goes to work inside against Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in the first quarter Friday night. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (8)

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When it comes to Fisher...I don't believe one word Jackson says about him.
Fisher would of been booed off the court in any other major NBA City.
Mr. .04, that was what...6 years ago !!! Yes, the guy hit a few big shots for the Lakers. That doesn't give him a lifetime pass to play basketball. He was never quick, and never a good shooter. Look at the tapes and stats. And now he is just pathetic. Any other city they would ask for him to retire. It is pathetic watching him out there. He doesn't have the court balance or quickness to stay with any guard in the league. Goes under every screen.
Cannot finish a layup if his life depended on it. I could go on all day. His fundamentals are Jr. high level !!!!


You are a completely unpleasant read.

Is anything every good enough for you? I would simply abhor sharing a meal with you.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


I doubt anyone on this planet would want to eat with you either !!!!!


Please tell me anything I've said about Fisher that is not a fact !!!!

Fish at 36%, not good enough for the world's best basketball team. Shannon is at 47% and more points in 10 fewer minutes per game. A lot less of a liability on D, too. We need to give this talented youngster the ball and let him develope. He's got the awesome physical tools and the right attitude.

I have to say I'm in agreement with and a member of the Shannon Brown contingent. DFish is not the player he once was, but I believe is a big enough man to take a seat on the bench, give us some quality minutes against the opposition's second team (as long as it's not against a small speedy guy), continue to mentor our young guys, lead by example, and get ready for a coaching/front office position. His career as a player is nearly over, but he's still needed on this team. A new hoops career awaits.

And as is becoming evident, Shannon Brown, besides his incredible athletic ability (surpassed only by 24 on this team) does have the right mentality and attitude to excel. The more minutes he gets the better he's played. Start him now and he'll be ready by season's end for a breakout post season.

Part of me thinks Jordy would do very well, maybe not quite as spectacularly, if given the starting nod at this stage, though his decision lapses always seem t rear their head on a regular basis.

Statistics shows that fisher is no longer a good player.Last year i hate Jackson for continuous playing Fisher.But i was wrong to judge Fisher early.He is a very intelligent player,a leader & a killer during crucial game.

Lakers I love this team?



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