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Laker update: Stopping Chris Paul and other issues for Gasol

April 25, 2011 |  7:08 pm


So, what does Pau have to say about stopping Paul?

That would be Lakers power forward Pau Gasol on trying to slow down Hornets point guard Chris Paul. Paul, of course, had a triple-double (27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds) for New Orleans in Game 4.

"We have to be aggressive with him," Gasol said after practice Monday afternoon. "He's been too comfortable handling the ball. His decision-making has been way too effective. So we need to make somebody else make the decision that he's making. Basically just attack him a little more. Attack the ball, attack him. Just force him to make errors."

Meanwhile, Gasol remains fully confident that Kobe Bryant, the reluctant patient with a sprained left ankle, will be in action during Game 5 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. 

"I think he'll play no matter what, regardless," Gasol said. "So I'm not going to think about anything else. If there's an injury, guys will step up."

Leadership will not be an issue should Bryant be unable to go in Game 5. Or down the line.

"I've led many of my teams. I wouldn't have a problem at all," Gasol said. "But, like I said, that's a hypothetical. I plan on my teammate being there because I know him. It's not like he has a broken ankle."

Lastly, Gasol said he felt "too sluggish" in the first two games, and then too antsy. Finding the right balance has been a problem, 

"Obviously I've had bad games and I've had worse games," he said. "I don't like to have bad games even though they kind of hurt. Two consecutive ones, that was not usual. I was confident last night." 

--Lisa Dillman

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol tries to cut off a drive by Hornets point guard Chris Paul on a pick-and-roll play during Game 3 of their playoff series. Credit: Derick E. Hingle / US Presswire