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Lamar Odom is a more deserving All-Star than Pau Gasol

In one room, Lakers forward Pau Gasol stood at a lectern and expressed giddiness for coaches' having voted him in as a reserve center in what will be his fourth All-Star appearance.

"You're always happy and honored as one of the best in the league," said Gasol, who also said the honor had extra significance because Staples Center will stage the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 20. "It's always a happy reaction."

In the Lakers locker room, forward Lamar Odom showed eagerness in heading to the training room so he could minimize his disappointment over being passed over for what could have been the first All-Star appearance in his 11-year career.

"It is what it is," he said. "It's the way it is."

The unfortunate reality is that the All-Star honors should've gone the other way around, with Odom enjoying the reward for his most consistent season as a Laker and Gasol realizing his solidified reputation as one of the league's best forwards shouldn't overshadow his season-long inconsistency.

It wouldn't be fair for me to evaluate whether Clippers forward Blake Griffin prematurely received a bid in his rookie season, Spurs veteran forward Tim Duncan received essentially an honorary reward in a 13th All-Star appearance despite limited numbers, or whether the likes of Minnesota's Kevin Love, Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge, Golden State's Monta Ellis and Memphis' Zach Randolph were snubbed, simply because their impact should be measured beyond statistics and stature, an area I can't credibly evaluate since I don't see all the games. But following the Lakers and watching them play all season, it's without question that Odom deserves an All-Star bid over Gasol.

"Obviously it would've been nice if we both made it," Gasol said.

But that's only possible if NBA Commissioner David Stern selects Odom as Yao Ming's replacement, a move Lakers Coach Phil Jackson endorsed but only if he truly garnered the most votes among league coaches. With coaches unable to vote for their own players and Jackson refusing to divulge who he voted for to represent the West reserves, it's hard to say if that's the case. It's easy to explain, however, why Odom's a more deserving All-Star than Gasol.

The Lakers' 89-88 loss Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs doesn't provide the greatest of examples. Odom failed to box out Antonio McDyess, who scored the game-winning put-back, and mostly struggled with his outside shot except for a three-pointer that cut the Spurs' lead to 87-86 with one minute remaining. Gasol appeared aggressive for the second consecutive game, leading the team with 19 points on eight-for-10 shooting and hitting two free throws that gave the Lakers an 88-87 advantage with 22.7 seconds left. The reasons, instead, point to what they've provided for the Lakers for most of the season.

Odom ended the 2009-10 championship season with another inconsistent effort, concern that the team was considering dumping his salary, and vowing to improve his game by playing for Team USA in the world championships. Instead of the exercise leading to burnout, Odom arrived in training camp in the best of shape and rarely has given an uninspired effort, as indicated by his 20 double-doubles, sixth in the NBA this season. Jackson joked it's good Odom didn't make the All-Star team because he needs to take the weekend off to rest, but Lakers guard Kobe Bryant correctly summed up the sentiment on what it means that Odom won't play alongside Bryant in his 13th All-Star appearance. "He'll use it as motivation."

That's a much different reaction than what Jackson shared when talking about Gasol playing in the game. "He won't play that hard anyway," Jackson said of Gasol. The same can be said for certain stretches of this season. Gasol skipped the world championships and rested because he felt the Lakers' three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and the 2008 Beijing Olympics caught up to him, a strategy he believed would help his endurance level entering this season. With Andrew Bynum sitting out the first 24 games after off-season surgery on his right knee, Gasol expended most of that energy in filling the void, resulting in a dip in production from November to December in points (20.3, 16.3), field-goal percentage (54.1%, 49%) and rebounds per game (12.3, 9.5). These past two games, Bryant's prodding him to demand the ball and be more aggressive has led to more looks and increased production, but most of the time this season Gasol has appeared overwhelmed and has backed down from mental and physical challenges.

That's why it's revealing when Gasol acknowledged the Lakers' record (currently 34-16) helped secure him a spot in the All-Star game.

"Obviously if we were doing really bad, I'm sure I wouldn't have been chosen, probably," Gasol said. "The team's success always helps for you to be selected and considered. It gives you credit."

In this case, however, Odom's consistency this season has been more instrumental in helping the Lakers stay near the top in the Western Conference, a variable that unfortunately didn't help his cause.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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It amazes me that Gasol thinks he's so deserving when he's literally been playing like a baby against good competitors! Sure he has a few good games here and there but as stated in the blog, he's inconsistent, hot and cold. Someone of his size, length, and foot work should be able to play a lot better than he has this season! I voted for Lamar all the way!


@MM…Great article , Mark. I agree with you 100%. The All-Star Game is a sham, a popularity contest where fans vote for the starters and the coaches vote for the reserves. This means that an injured Yao Ming beats Andrew Bynum by 191K Chinese votes, the most for any available West center. But since Yao is injured and cannot play, logic (fans vote for starters), fairness (Drew had the next most votes), and reality (Drew is the best center in the West) says that Drew should be the starter.
..
Then there are the coaches, voting in the latest greatest new superstar who has not even played more than a half season in two years for a losing team that won’t make the playoffs. Talk about marketing hypocrisy when at the other end of the spectrum (or speculum), Tim Duncan gets a lifetime Oscar. The only fair and reasonable way to chose the All-Star teams is to have the players themselves vote on who are the best players at each position. If they did that, I’ll bet that both Lamar and Drew would have joined Kobe on the All-Star team. The current system is as big a joke as ESPN is real news.
…………………………………
TOM

I think Pau deserves to be on all star team and think Bynum and LO belong on there too. Septics have 4 players why can't we?

I think Pau deserves to be on all star team and think Bynum and LO belong on there too. Septics have 4 players why can't we? Posted by: Justa (formerly JustaLakerFan) | February 04, 2011 at 05:03 PM
*
Well said my brother!!

MM,

L.O. is more deserving than Pau.
Andrew Bynum would be more deserving than Pau too if our coaching staff wasn't totally depleted this summer!!

No disrespect to the remaining assistant coauches, but without Rambis, this team is really feeling the squeeze. He worked a lot with Bynum in the past few seasons and it was paying off. Now Bynum looks lost and disinterested. I know the injury has something to due with it, but it seems 90% of the problem is heart.

Look at what Rambis has coaxed Love into the last few months. I've been a Kevin Love fan for years now and watched him since UCLA and even I can't believe what he's accomplishing.

dan

I think this is the best article you have written, MM.

Has anyone at the LA Times written one positive word about Pau Gasol this season? Gasol is Kobe's whipping boy, is called out for "soft" play, yet every other team in the NBA would probably like to have him on their roster, especially as a 6th man like LO.

Easy solution: trade Gasol ASAP and rid the LA Times staff of their lightning rod for criticism and Laker fans of a player who has helped to bring them their last two tiles.

kevin love got yaos place. poor LO

I'm agree with Formerly Justa,

Both Pau and LO deserve to be allstars. Tim Duncan not so much! But his coach is looking out for his player. Don't like it but I understand it!

The next stupid laker fan to crack on gasol gets punched in the face. Gasol won game 7 he had 19 rebounds and the Lakers have been to 3 straight finals with him. When Lamar was Kobe's sidekick the Lakers lost in the first round. Back to reality.

Uh I guess garnet is the only player in the league allowed to slap refs.

Ok I'm game.

Pau Gasol has a stance like a giraffe drinking water when he shoots free throws!

Take your best shot Andrew.

think Pau deserves to be on all star team and think Bynum and LO belong on there too. Septics have 4 players why can't we
Posted by: Justa (formerly JustaLakerFan) |

Right on man if the celtics can have 4 all stars why can't we.Ray allen paul pierce haven't been putting up big numbers that justify them being all stars.But i guess it helps to have your head coach coaching the team.I would go with lo over tim duncan or even la. aldrige who been putting up better numbers himself.

Go lakers!

I went through the remaining schedule and it looks like about 17 wins and 15 losses in my guesstimation. That puts them at about 51 wins, which will probably be on the bubble for the 4-5 slot in the West. This is assuming the Lakers will drift through the remainder of the season with the same attitude and lack of focus they have so far exhibited......... What that translates to is out in round 2, at best. We have no Shaq-Kobe-Fox-Harper-Shaw-Horry postseason "switch" to throw anymore!

I hope this will change or they will have wasted yet another HOF championship drive of Mr. Kobe Bryant and PJ.

LakerTom: Agree completely!

Neither of them should have made the team. The way the Lakers have been playing this season shows me none of them deserve it. Pau has been pushed around. Lamar Odumb has made stupid mistakes in the past few games. Fouling Davis beyond half court, not boxing out, taking ill advised jump shots when he could have drove the lane. I was hoping Kobe wouldn't make it too. He needs the rest.

I wanna play. Pau walks like Jar Jar Binks.

At least Kareem tweeted that he is cancer-free. Great news.

Well, a 4-hour trip to urgent care with my oldest son this morning (he has had a bad sore throat/ear ache), a couple trips to the pharmacy & market, having my Dodge Durango decide to play games with the starter & finally getting that working (for now...) picking up the little ones, getting my son to his high-school soccer game then driving around my daughter to and from her pre-season soccer conditioning. yikes, what a day...

There was a virtual replay that happened a few minutes ago at the end of the Clipper/Hawks game that was almost identical to the last-second tip by the Spurs. That was a lucky bounce, much like that last second tip by Divac that ended up in Horry's hands years back vs the Kings.

Spurs got lucky last night, that's fine. A little bravado and false confidence won't hurt if matching up against them in the playoffs...

Was going to read the Bres chat from this afternoon, but after seeing justa's post, am not so enthused about doing so. I guess I'll read it later on sometime. maybe.

BTW, now there is a Justa (formerly JLF), this can really get confusing. I suppose justa will need to become JAMF from now on... lol

- - -

LakerTom: Right on with your 10 things, very well stated. I'm with you, things look a little brighter despite an L. One little tip was the difference, but the bigger thing is the signs that things are starting to progress in a better direction.

888: Enjoyed your post from this morning. The problems that are definitely fixable. There is no doubt the Lakers could take the Spurs come playoffs, when they are ramped & amped up. They still lack focus on some possessions, still freelance it some and iso, like you point out.

3 bigs on the floor is something Phil should explore. It really could work when you've got as versatile bigs as we do. Pau and L.O. are both nice passers from the post, they could feed Drew from up-high. I'd love to see it happen from time to time!

Shannon, come back! The one that was en fuego in November. Where have you gone?


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

"Even when we didn't make the playoffs, I thought we'd win the championship." Dr. Buss
GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!
Posted by: frmkt | February 04, 2011 at 03:29 PM

frmkt- Man this is not fresh, you may want to find another slogan. It's tired like some of your post.

I think Pau deserves to be on all star team and think Bynum and LO belong on there too. Septics have 4 players why can't we?

Posted by: Justa (formerly JustaLakerFan) | February 04, 2011 at 05:03 PM

Believe this LO or Pau shouldn't be on the allstar team, neither deserving of it, they both SUCKS. The Celtic's kick your butt, that why they have more players in the allstar game.THEIR BETTER THAN YOU.

Celts choke against Dallas, wow?

One All Star beat four, guess that it for the Celts.

Now that K-Love was selected as Yao's replacement for all-star (which should have been Bynum's as runner-up, no?) L.O. is officially left off, save for a late injury replacement.

I'm not going to say that Pau wasn't deserving, because he was. The first month-and-a-half or so he was on an MVP pace. Lamar's versatility is one of the main reasons that this team is the defending two-time champion, and this year he has played with more consistency than ever. A very tough call, but one that shouldn't have needed to be made.

Why? Because L.O. was VERY MUCH more deserving than Tim Duncan. This year Timmy is no more than third option on his team, and this is more of a 'lifetime achievement' selection and one based on the Spurs record than it is in recognition of anything he's done on the court.

L.O. is an all-star in my book though regardless of whether the league recognizes him as one or not. I just hope L.O. uses this as motivation from here on out...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Dallas is 4-0 against the Heat and Celtics.

Just sayin'...

Justa,

"Wonder haw many now think letting Mbenga go was a bad move? Or trading away Sashsa for too little?"

I said both of these things at the time. I stand by my opinion on both. I also stand by my opinion that PJ/Mitch royally screwed up the PG last season/off season... but that's a different battle I guess.

Hopeful, but barely.

And oh yeah... I also stand by my opinion that TMac deserved a work out (not an auto sign, just a work out)

The fact is that we have the SOFTEST POWER-forward to ever play the game. Yet he may be the most skilled, the position demands something else. We have been able to hide his lack of dexterity with the inspired play by Ariza and Artest, the will of Kobe, the size of Bynum, the leadership of Fisher, and a bench led by Lamar. Those players aren't over-achieving this year, therefore we need Pau to play the position as it's intended to be played, but he CAN'T. We need a POWER-forward to every now and then take a HARD foul, dive to the floor, PROTECT the lane, get MEANINGFUL fouls, and play with the strength of a Roman column. For this team, the way it's built now, we need to make a change starting with Pau.

Pau and Artest for: (in the order of merit)

Aldridge and Batum (portland)
Noah and Deng (Chicago)
West and Ariza (New Orleans)
Granger and Collison (indiana)
Love and Wesley Johnson (minnesota)

Cyber - I hope your family is ok. That's all that matters.

Brez is a tool. I know that MM needs to be all PC in his response, but whatever. As far as I'm concerned, Brez can go van gundy himself. Smarmy condescending punk. MM - why don't you see if YOU can get him to answer my questions? Or any of our Q's for that matter. Like I said - whatever. I'll never make THAT mistake again.

And btw, cyber - you can still call me justa - or jamf - whichever. It beats the hell out of me why JLF wants to be called justa. It's a girl's name, but whatever floats your boat. Personally, I'll call him JFJLF (justaformerlyjustalakerfan). What some people won't do for attention. Whatever. Knock yourself out JFJLF. Are you also a girl that people are mistaking for a guy?

Yeah. I know. I'm being snarky myself. Whatever. There are just so many more things in the world to be concerned about. And even just in LakerLand. But hey - it's all about the love, right? That must be why JFJLF wants my name.

Whatever. I'm dropping it now. Call me whatever you want. Just don't call me late for dinner. Or pie. Or vodka. Or percoset for that matter.

Nope. Gasol is the second best player on the second best team in the West. Pau would make many fans sing Joni Mitchell's song if he were to leave. But I will say L.O. deserved it more than Kevin Love and Blake Griffin both who play on garbage teams.

Charles and Kenny made the same point on TNT yesterday.

They said that Lamar is the second-best player on the Lakers, so if two people from the Lakers go to the All-Star game, it has to be Kobe and Lamar.

I hear a lot of people say that Pau Gasol and Dirk are soft, and I find it very amusing. European players are not soft, they are highly skilled. They are taught the game a bit differently there, and are more fundamentally sound. This is why European teams are now able to compete with the United States in the Olympics. Remember when we got the bronze with LeBron and Carmelo on the team? How about South American players? Are they soft too? Manu? Varejo? Nene? Listen, just because a player is North American does not automatically make him hard. It is somewhat ignorant to believe otherwise. I watched Dirk drop 30 on the "hard" Celtics tonight, and I watched Pau destroy both Garnett and Rasheed Wallace in game 7 of the NBA finals last year. Nationalism is all well and good, but this is a global game now and saying European players are soft because they don't curse, scream, dunk as often, or commit flagrant fouls is as played out as it is ludicrous

Charles and Kenny made the same point on TNT yesterday.

They said that Lamar is the second-best player on the Lakers, so if two people from the Lakers go to the All-Star game, it has to be Kobe and Lamar.

LO made a tremendous stride in this season coming fresh from FIBA gold performance, yet missed the ASG in his 11th year. His reactions was somewhat dejected and submissive to the non recognition of his efforts. Well, ASG players are subjectively chosen by fans and also coaches. Somehow, those who don't belonged to top 12 in each Conference are terribly embarrassed for being left behind. It has been like this ever since the ASG started. LO's reaction was: "It is what it is," he said. "It's the way it is." That is not the Lincoln's formula in approaching or conquering failure. If he did not get this year, make sure it will be a motivation to get into magic 12 in 2012, in 2013 or in 2014. There is always time for success if you try harder and improve image among fans and coaches the like, that you belong to this group. What's bad about LO? Inconsistency in court management as well in free throws @ 67%. Therefore, cure those kinks and next season you're assured of getting the nod of all NBA fans and coaches alike not only the segment of his biased fans, who else but the Laker fans, lol that includes me! LO, get off with that reality TV type of thinking but improve one self by imitating Abe Lincoln on how to handle failures.

ODOM WHEN HE WANTS TO BE IS ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE AND WHEN HE PLAYS WELL USUALLY THE LAKER'S WIN. THE PROBLEM THOUGH IS WHICH ODOM WILL SHOW UP. THIS BRINGS ME BACK TO GASOL. WHEN HE WANTS TO HE IS AS GOOD AS ANY BIG MAN, (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF DWIGHT HOWARD) IN THE LEAGUE. THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE REALLY DOESN'T LIKE TO PLAY DEFENSE AND IF HE'S NOT GETTING THE BALL TO HIS LIKING, HE BEGAN TO TAKE A BREAK OUT ON THE COURT. IN MORE THAN FOURTY FIVE YEARS OF WATCHING BASKETBALL KOBE BRYANT IN MY OPINION IS THE HARDEST WORKING ATHLETE I'VE SEEN IN ANY SPORT. I FEEL THIS YEAR THOUGH ODOM SHOULD HAVE WON OUT OVER GASOL FOR THE RESERVE SPOT. JUST MY OPINION. PSALMS 20

Enough!!!

I can't take this nonsense anymore about Odom being the most consistent Laker, and a more deserving All-star because of that. It's absolute rubbish. You're all just spoiled by Gasol's consistent excellence over the years, and so used to Odom being inconsistent that his relatively good season has you amazed.

I just did a little basic statistical analysis to prove this fact. Odom and Gasol have almost identical standard deviations on both points and rebounds, but since Gasol gets substantially more of both, Gasol is both BETTER and MORE CONSISTENT than Odom.

Example:
Most of the time, Odom scores 10 - 20 points.

Most of the time, Gasol scores 13 - 23 points.

Odom has a very nice shooting percentage, but that just means he's been good (but NOT better than Gasol). His shooting percentage actually varies more from game to game than Gasol's.

So, I'm saying this to all of you and every brainless announcer and commentator in the NBA.

ENOUGH!

It's simply not true.


TNT LAKER FAN, YOU HAVE SOME GOOD POINTS, BUT IN ALL HONESTY, WITH THE HEIGHT GASOL HAS, IF HE PLAYED WITH TENACITY ON A CONSISTANT BASIS. THE LAKERS WOULD BE ALMOST UNBEATABLE, BUT EVEN SOME OF THE PLAYERS ON OTHER TEAMS HAVE COMMENTED ABOUT HOW HE SEEMS TO SHY AWAY FROM CONTACT. I'VE WATCHED HIM EVEN BEFORE HE CAME TO THE LAKERS AND THIS IS ALSO MY OPINION. NO DISRESPECT MEANT, BUT IF THE LAKERS WERE ABLE TO GET A DWIGHT HOWARD, EVEN IF IT MEANT TRADING GASOL AND ODOM OR GASOL AND BYNUM. THE LAKERS WOULD DEFINITELY BE THE TEAM TO CONTEND WITH. ONCE A GAIN. KEEP IN MIND, WHEN HE WANTS TO GASOL IS AS GOOD ALMOST AS ANY BIG MAN, BUT YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN HE WANT TO.JUST MY OPINION. PSALMS 121

Andrew said:

"The next stupid laker fan to crack on gasol gets punched in the face. Gasol won game 7 he had 19 rebounds and the Lakers have been to 3 straight finals with him. When Lamar was Kobe's sidekick the Lakers lost in the first round. Back to reality."

LakerTom is desesperated to trade Gasol, he only has eyes for Bynum and Kobe, his hate to Gasol is clear.


Its a pitty that Odom did not get the nomination but is that Gasol's foult?

I don't understand why we have to create controversy in our own locker room. Shouldn't be all happy with Gasol making the All Star? Why should we make a case whether it was Gasol or Lamar? I believe there were more players competing for the award and we should be happy at least one of our players got the recognition.
We all know these awards are not fair and the likes of Duncan, Yao, Paul Pierce and even KG seem to get Wild Cards for the ASG.

Anyway it looks like this year everything is on Pau Gasol. We fell in Sh*t and we love to stir it...


We're getting too caught up with if Gasol can deliver or not. He's helped the Lakers win 2 championships, why question his will to help bring a 3rd championship? Let him pace himself - he surely knows now how much energy to bring to the court after 2 grueling years of championship-caliber effort. Try to find a smoother power forward who's willing to step into the role of playing center within the triangle offense. Good luck.
And yes, Lamar got dissed in the All-Star bidding. Who in the NBA can be talked about most as the most versatile player in this era and somehow not get get voted into the All-Star game. You know what that means? He supposed to save his energy so when he gets to the Finals, he becomes the X factor and helps the Lakers win a 12th title for Phil.
Lamar knows how good he is and so does his teammates - so long as Kobe recognizes the level of importance Lamar has for the Lakes, I don't see how they can't win another title. Oh yah, we need Bynum. Easy on him too.

Whoops, with Gasol in the lineup (as the gentleman mentioned above me), they've gone to the Finals each year. And that's with learning the triangle offense in a few weeks of the first year. I'd like to see Tim Duncan replicate that.

Great article MM

Totally agree.

Pau shoots at a lower percentage and only scores more than Lamar because of the shot attempts.

Most importantly, Pau sucks bad on defense this year. All these guys have owned Pau this year on defense. Guys like Dalembert look like real All Stars when they play against Pau.

Lamar's defense has been mostly great. .. probably less than 7 guys who have played well against Lamar this year.

Both sides of the court, superior shooting % and DEFENSE, HANDS-DOWN Lamar has been better than Pau.

It looks like Mark Medina must be Odom's best friend. Not too worried about Lakers' future, in fact. We're having some problems on court, so the best idea out there is to try to blame one player for the other's fate. Pau must be thinking why he's usually the one to blame for everything.

Just remember who are making the selections for the All-Star reserves. This will be 4th All-Star for Pau, not being rookie or sophomore; and all those 4 times he was elected by the coaches...i bet they know something that Medina doesn´t.

Lamar is doing a great season, no doubt about it; he's been using the rythm he got during the summer championship, and the bigger playing time he got by Drew's injury. Blame to PJax for not getting the 1# spot in the West by now, we would have 4 players on the All-Star, like Boston. By the way, i don´t think Bosh deserved an all Star spot, but the East looks so weak...right now, Lakers' All-Stars are two, Kobe & Pau. Period.

I THINK KOBE SAID IT BEST WHEN HE SAID, "PAU NEEDS TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE". I THINK THE HIGHEST OF PAU, BUT HE DOES NEED TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE, THERE ARE TIMES SMALL PLAYERS COME SAILING RIGHT BY HIM AS PARKER FROM THE SUNS DID AND IN ONE CASE PARKER LOOKES AS THOUGH HE WAS LAUGHING AT THE LAKERS, ESPECIALLY PAU SINCE HE KEPT GOING STRAIGHT AT HIM. PAU IS A GREAT PLAYER, BUT HE ALSO SHOULD BE DOMINATING ESPECIALLY WITH THE HEIGHT HE HAS. BILL WALTON, BEFORE HE SUSTAINED HIS INJURY MANY YEARS BACK, HAD A SOFT TOUCH, BUT HE WAS AGGRESSIVE AND DOMINATING. I'M JUST NOT ABLE TO ACCEPT THE FACT OF A SEVEN FOOTER NOT USING ALL HIS POTENTIALS. NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE WHEN PAU GOES OUT AND BYNUM COMES IN. MOST PLAYERS BECOME INTIMIDATED TRYING TO FLY THROUGH THE MIDDLE. PAU HAS THAT ABILITY TO ALSO INTIM IDATE. HE JUST HAS TO USE IT. WE ALL LOVE PAU, BUT IS IT WRONG FOR US TO ASK FOR MORE, IF WE SEE THE POTENTIAL IS THERE, BUT IS NOT BEING USED. JEREMIAH 29:11

the dichotomy for the lakers is perfect in the fact that Pau is better as the second option on a team, where Lamar struggled in that role when he was counted on more before we got Pau. Now that there is less pressure on him, he is thriving. This is by far his most consistent year with the lakers. He has always been good, just not delivering every night like star players do. Pau impacts every game, but the problem this year is that he can play even better than he has. Kobe knows better than anyone, and he is right, I can tell too that Pau biggest issue this year is being aggressive on offense mostly, but D too. Aggressive does not necessarily mean toughness. Pau's toughness has gotten better but he will never be KG tough, but want we want as fans is just be aggressive! Look to force the action. Pretend to be the Kobe sometimes and take shots that are not there sometimes. At least go down swinging.

All the lakers not named Kobe need to be more aggressive. Especially when Kobe gets that hot hand. Guys need to force themselves to look for their shot when Kobe gets going, cause Kobe can get it going anytime he wants, but if guys are not looking to shoot then he might as well keep trying to carry them himself. It should be easier for these other guys to get a good shot when Kobe gets hot cause every team has seen it before and they begin to focus their entire d on Kobe. So when Shannon gets the ball, or Pau gets a touch, or lamar don't give it up or look for where Kobe is at, look to drive or take a short pull-up, or play a two man game within the triangle like that weak side pick they run and let Kobe know that you are with him trying to get the job done instead of watching him.

No doubt Pau has been good for the lakers run the past couple years, but the criticism is fair. Pau, as an "all star", an elite frontcourt player, second option on a championship team, is held to a higher standard than other players. That's just the way it is. There is a reason Kobe and Phil and the rest of the Laker "family" push and prod him more than fisher or brown or even drew, cause we need him to do more than what we ask of these other guys. Everyone on the team needs to fill their role and not everyone has so far this year, but Pau has a bigger role and more responsibility to fulfill. We have had success without drew(finals appearance and we still need him) and success without ron ron(a title and we need ron too). But Pau was the player that took us to the next level, and he needs to be that player more consistently than he has been.

Gasoft is brain dead at this point of his career. Or should I say his last leg no jumping ability just a big flat footed 7 footer. His blocks come behind most player or when they are in traffic. When the small point guards come down the lane he is too slow to react. He fumble more rebounds that should be loss by a 7 footer. You do the math the guy got 19 rebounds in game 7 last year but fumble another 6-9 to someone else. With the number shot's missed some other 7 footer might have gotten 30 rebounds. So he most be burned out or just lost his will to play this year.

I couldn't disagree with you any more if I tried. Odom's last 25 games haven't come close to how he started the year. He looks as mortal as the previous seasons with the Lakers. As far as Gasol is concerned haters have short memories.

If Gasol wouldn't have gotten the votes it would have been someone from another team. It's hard for a backup to make the all-star team. There were at least 10 other starting power forwards in the western conference who weren't on the all-star team. You can't give a backup an all star slot when there are starters with numbers that are as good or better than a back up.


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