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Kendrick Perkins' comments about Pau Gasol will likely motivate him in Lakers-Thunder game

Gasol1_325 A postgame ritual for Lakers forward Pau Gasol usually entails unwinding over a relaxing dinner.

Here's to guessing Gasol's postgame plans following the Lakers-Oklahoma City game Sunday at Staples Center won't include Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who expressed his disdain for Gasol by rehashing an old and tired stereotype: "Pau is soft."

"No," Gasol said. "Absolutely not."

When Gasol enjoys his postgame meal Sunday, it'll hopefully include replaying how he proved again that he's able to stay resilient against physical play, his finesse moves in the lane and the post proved more effective than Perkins' enforcer-style game and that the Lakers ended their four-game losing streak.

Gasol might insist comments questioning his toughness don't bother him, whether it's claiming opponents are "jealous" of his two NBA championships or arguing Lakers Coach Phil Jackson "says things for his own amusement" whenever the coach decides to needle him. But his on-court demeanor the last few seasons have suggested otherwise. It's mostly been for the good.

His defensive work in the 2009 NBA Finals against Dwight Howard proved he was far more muscular than the lanky Spaniard the Celtics pushed around in the previous Finals. His aggressiveness in the 2010 NBA Finals against Boston proved that stereotype had long passed. When Lakers guard Kobe Bryant approached Gasol in February and told him he needed to be more aggressive by demanding the ball, making sharper cuts and remaining engaged in hustle plays, Gasol responded by scoring at least 20 points in five of the first six games in February, notching three double-doubles and shooting better than 50% in all six games. As Bryant said at the time, "he has an aggressiveness switch, where, depending on the circumstance and pressure of the game, he becomes more assertive and more aggressive."

It's safe to say Perkins' comments will turn Gasol's aggressiveness switch to the on position.

"Certain players talk too much, from my perspective," Gasol said. "They should worry about their own stuff. But you can’t control what other players do or what people do. So it’s a tough opponent. We know that. They’ve gotten better. We want to beat them. If we can beat them up, even better."

This should be a good thing for the Lakers, considering Gasol's four-of-11 effort in the Lakers' 93-86 loss Friday to Portland pointed to a combination of the team going away from him coupled with his lack of aggressiveness. It's no coincidence Gasol spent extra time following Saturday's practice with Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person going over post moves. And based on the Lakers' defense of Gasol, ranging from Ron Artest flexing his muscles to Lamar Odom challenging anyone to find a forward who has better footwork and back-to-the-basket moves, it's safe to say Gasol's teammates have his back.

“Well if they don’t, they are going to get pounded,” Jackson said. “Oklahoma City plays hard.”

Gasol needs to display his aggressiveness the right way, though. By no means will Gasol suddenly become an enforcer. But there were instances last season where his desire to prove he's not a soft player proved counterproductive. After the Lakers' embarrassing 98-83 loss to Charlotte on March 5 of last season, Jackson had Gasol meet with former Knicks forward Charles Oakley, who knew a thing or two about playing physical. Gasol then came out the next week against Orlando and let frustrations get the best of him. After Orlando center Dwight Howard tugged at Gasol's jersey, Gasol responded on the other end by hitting Howard's head on a dunk, good enough for a flagrant foul. A week later, Gasol committed a hard foul on then Phoenix backup center Louis Amundson, a play Gasol admitted afterward should've been a flagrant foul.

Although this sequence has little to do with toughness, Jackson's anecdote to The Times' T.J. Simers last season about Gasol's reaction to the coach saying he had trouble posting up New Orleans center Emeka Okafor highlights Gasol's mind-set in a nutshell. "So Pau scores the first 14 points in the game," Jackson said at the time. "And five of the seven times he scores, he looks over to the bench. I told him later he doesn't have to look, ‘you know how to motivate yourself.' "

Credit Gasol for not trying to fundamentally change his finesse game into that of an enforcer. But there's enough evidence to show he sometimes steps out of his element, even if it's for a play or two. Perkins will certainly test Gasol and may even try goading him the way Denver center Nene did last week when it almost sparked an altercation. It'll be on Gasol to make sure he stands up for himself without overreacting.

"Certain guys have the right to speak," Gasol said. "You stop them from doing that, I guess. It is what it is. You just have to go out there and it’s a game we want to win tomorrow against a tough opponent. Aside from individuals and that guy, it doesn’t matter."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol makes sure Boston center Kendrick Perkins doesn't get free for a shot as he fouls him in the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / June 10, 2010

 
Comments () | Archives (42)

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@MM … Excellent article. I had missed Phil’s comments about Pau looking over at the bench. Great stuff. One thing that bothers me about Pau is that he never seems to personally accept the blame for the Lakers playing poorly. He will say the entire team played terribly but he never seems willing to personally accept the blame. It’s more than just being a Euro. It’s almost a class thing. Pau is a weird duck in many ways. That he visualizes what happens if he fails instead of visualizing success tells you all you need to know about his level of confidence and attitude towards taking risks. Bottom line, Pau is an enigma. I’m sure Phil and Kobe have been ragging on him to toughen up.

Hopefully, Perkins’ comments will motivate Pau to be the black swan for a change. I’m tired of the white swan fading away on every shot on offense and doing anything possible to avoid drawing a foul on defense. And it’s not just Pau’s individual offense and defense that is killing us. It’s the fact that the Triangle Offense runs best when Pau is playing with confidence and keeping the ball moving. We need Pau to regain his mojo and get the team back to playing the game the way it is supposed to be played.. Ironically, it’s like Pau has now become the black hole and Drew the guy who passes.

Pau probably feels unfairly attacked with everybody including his coaches and opposing players all calling him out for being soft. With every team attacking him physically, Pau has also not helped his cause with the refs with his unaggressive play and constant complaining. In a way, he probably was hoping that the heat would diminish once Drew returned but unfortunately Pau no longer can hide behind Drew’s skirts. We need him to stop the pouting and whining and just bring it hard.
…………………………………………………………………………………….
TOM


@LAKERS BLOGGERS … Rooting interests for tomorrow’s games:

Hornets over Grizzlies so Hornets stay #7
Celtics over Heat so Lakers get 1 game lead on Heat
Suns over Mavs so Lakers get 2 game lead on Mavs
…………………………………………………………………………………….
TOM

Pau you are such a class act, what a dreamboat. Pau knows when to step it up, hello game 7 of the nba finals where he destroyed KG?

I'm not worried, are you?


p.s who wants to write my finals for me :)

Kendrick Perkins? Does anybody really care what Mr. 5 pts and 5 rebs a game says? Hey Kendrick, when you get done riding KG's coattails and sobbing (who is soft?) why don't you try becoming an All-Star and justify your overpaid contract. You were so valuable to the Celtics that they traded you away to make way for aging veterans. OVERRATED!


"Since the dawn of time man has asked the question...

What makes Kobe Bryant, aka The Black "hole" Mamba, an unstoppable ballhog?
What makes his ballhoginess so unstoppable?
What makes his three-point ball hog shots so unstoppable?
What makes his overall ballhog unstoppableness unstoppable?
Is it possible to stop something that is so ballhogish unstoppable?"


Its time to punch tha bully in the mouth.Take it to him and embarass him pau and Bynum needs to make sure Perkins is on the bench with foul trouble.Send a message to Okc, that the west belongs to the 2 time defending Champs.

Go Lakers!

perkins is just a big cry baby who still has not gotten over that his season ended against the mighty lakers in game 6, so instead he has to resort to name calling since he is a no talent buffoon. i hope the "soft" gasol pisses all over him sunday night.

Kendrick Perkins? Does anybody really care what Mr. 5 pts and 5 rebs a game says? Hey Kendrick, when you get done riding KG's coattails and sobbing (who is soft?) why don't you try becoming an All-Star and justify your overpaid contract. You were so valuable to the Celtics that they traded you away to make way for aging veterans. OVERRATED!

Posted by: TNTLakerFan | April 09, 2011 at 11:35 PM

brilliant!

Aloha

Pau really is the least of our problems right now. Over the last 4 games. It's our shooting.

Kobe 36-90
Fish 10 - 25
Ron 9- 34
Blake 2- 11
Shannon 8- 27

Now contrast that with

Pau 23-42
Andrew 15-27

So what's wrong with this picture? Whatever happened to inside out? The Pau/Andrew combo is our biggest advantage over everyone else in the league and we are not utilizing it. If we do not start going inside we will not 3 peat. If we cant shoot the ball better then we will not 3 peat. And can anyone explain why Shannon has as many shots as Drew? Unbelievable. I am not going to go back and pull out all the stats but just go back and look at the numbers when we are winning. Pau and Drew are usually more involved in the offense. We have to get back to that.

MH

phoenix isnt a box seat holder, he is a 42 yr old over weight meth addict. he works at kfc and has a paper route, his name is jacob and dont pay attention to him. he is a habitual liar and a thief. oh yeah he lives with his sister and her husband. hey jacob, now what?

Lakers Fam,

Tomorrow's game is a DO or DIE game(in terms of staying ahead of BOS or MIA for HCA).

So, what does that mean? It means "THE SWITCH" is ON for tomorrow's game.


Count on it! LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Good luck Laker fans. FWIW, as a childhood resident of Duarte and fan of the Lakers I'm now a fan and resident of OKC. My take was Perk was saying what he thought the locals wanted to hear. Not that his comments don't match his opinion but usually guys keep these thoughts to themselves so as to avoid giving the other team bulletin board material. OKC was considered soft inside prior to Perks arrival. OKC hoped he would help change that. He knew that. OKC also knows the road to any championship goes through LA. Perk was trying to energize the team and it's fans.

Here's to an entertaining game tonight and maybe we'll find our teams matched up in the post season. If so, it should be fun.

Here's to an entertaining game tonight and maybe we'll find our teams matched up in the post season. If so, it should be fun. Posted by: Kevin W | April 10, 2011 at 04:43 AM
_________________


Good luck to you too Kevin. Nice words for an opposing fan, although not quite, as you said you were a former Lakers fan. Once a Laker, always a Laker.... :)


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Very insightful article, MM. Pau is a very intelligent and proud man. And his style of play is not very well understood or accepted by many. He is a skill player, along the lines of Gretzky in hockey, who likewise was criticized his entire career for being "soft". And also like Gretzky, he is a truly great passer, something that few fans sufficiently appreciate.

In fact, I would say that his game overall revolves around his passing. If you keep a library of Laker games like I do, go back and watch some of the early games of Pau after he was traded to the Lakers. His passing was amazing. And therein lies both his and the Lakers' problems now. In order to get good passing opportunities, guys have to be moving without the ball and cutting sharply. The Lakers have been in a total funk most of the year, casually strolling through their cuts. And that has impacted Pau's entire game. He's being forced to go solo more often and farther away from the basket than he likes. And that also gets him into a more passive state.

The OKC game definitely will be an indicator whether not just Pau but the whole team are really in it to win it this time around. And if the Lakers can find that energy and movement they had when they first experienced "Pau 1.0", we've got this.

Pau will be there when Lakers need him for one more ring. Drew Political Father's always is there with the gun ready to shot to Pau... jealousy.

JovBATZ24: "Once a Laker, always a Laker.... :)" That's funny...and true. I love the Lakers. Been waiting decades to see them win more titles than the C's and I might actually get to see it in my lifetime. :)

That said, Go Thunder! :)

I smell a victory tonight. It's not an early game, folks can sleep in so no excuses.

Doesn't it look like Gasol is effortlessly holding Perkins from moving while Perkins is trying his hardest to push through? lol. "I'll just take that...thanks for the ball. And you have the nerve to call me soft..."

Been waiting decades to see them win more titles than the C's and I might actually get to see it in my lifetime. Posted by: Kevin W | April 10, 2011 at 05:35 AM
______________________

Kevin W,

Guess we'd have to wait for next year. This year we tie, next year we'll have more titles than the C's. After that, KD & the gang from OKC will have a chance... :)

Fair enough? LOL!

Seriously, I just hope we finish tonight's game with no injuries on both teams. That's whats most important at this point.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Game on... let's not give the HCA back to Boston. Wake up and play!

Good news for Lakers is their trouble revolves around things that can be fixed. Turnovers, boxing out and moving sharply and decisively in the offensive sets. Defense has been ok and expect that will turn up a notch in playoffs.

Bad news is that if the Lakers don't address above mentioned items, there are several teams that can beat them.

Liked Tom's thoughts on Pau, but also interesting take by Corner J. I strongly agree that the Lakers execute poorly on offense. Cuts are not sharp, picks are soft, without purpose and way too much standing around. Makes sense that would affect Pau. I saw one set the other night against Portland where the Lakers had simultaneous movement by the whole unit. It gave me a glimpse of what the triangle could be. Unfortunately, that was an isolated incident and the offense stunk as a whole.

Disagree strongly with those discredit Perkins. Because of his defense and physical play, he is one of the best centers in the league. He may not put up all star numbers, but he is the type of player that championship teams need.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS GAME DAY

April 10, 2011
Game #79
Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Record: 55-23
Standings: Clinched Pacific Division
Western Conference: #2
League Record: Tied #3
Current Streak: Lost 4

LA TIMES LAKERS BLOG ROLL CALL

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All together now...May we stay focused and have the inner strength to reach our goal of ultimate victory. Keep us free from injuries and injustice.
Keep us strong, determined and give us the will and stamina to overwhelm any and all obstacles.
We are the Los Angeles Lakers, and we spread the FEAR.
No one can beat us but ourselves, and we say to all, bring it on!

THE LAKER FAMILY WILL PREVAIL.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS 2009-2010 NBA CHAMPIONS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhPXdbjGLTc


Michael H you are on point with your analysis. Drew and gastrong are centers so they need others to feed them the ball. The lakers biggest advantage is our lenght but yet we don't consistently go inside that is just plain assinine. And what with all of this tough and soft anyway? Who can really be tough without risking being suspended and losing beaucoup dollars? Now when magic faced the celtics and the bad boy pistons you had to be tough literally. When mj faced the pistons and the knicks you had to be tough literally. Today the nba is a soft league with the least bit of physical play resulting in a suspension see Drew. All Pau have to say to someone calling him names is that your ma is a piece of blankety blank. Think about it the other guy can't hit you or anything.

All I know is that when the Lakers three-peat in June, Pau Gasol will have the greatest 4 year resume in Lakers history. Finals-Champion-Champion- Champion (fingers crossed). Without him, this article would have never been written. Without him, it is very possible that Kobe would probably be gone by now and that we would be looking at 9 years in a row without a championship. In close-out game #1, he dominated Dwight Howard. In close-out game #2, he dominated Kevin Garnett. Enigma? Hardly. Champion? You better believe it!

Pau Gasol is one of the most underrated 7 footers in NBA history and one of the smartest and classiest players to have ever played this game. I've said this before and I will say it again. I abhor pitting our players against one another. They play as a team and bring out the best in each other, especially our 4-5 trio of Gasol-Bynum-Odom, and the glue to those 3 and the glue to Kobe Bryant is Pau Gasol. Make no mistake about that. We have a mega-star and a superstar on this team and they need each other to reach the highest possible level in basketball. Without Gasol, forget it.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/sports/kings/archives/2011/04/offer-to-buy-ki.html

What are you up to Edwin?

Sneaky rascal.

Sonnybelfast

Something is wrong with this picture.

Where the heck are Larry and the Canadian Justafier?

Sonnybelfast

this was written:

Now contrast that with

Pau 23-42
Andrew 15-27

So what's wrong with this picture? Whatever happened to inside out? The Pau/Andrew combo is our biggest advantage over everyone else in the league and we are not utilizing it. If we do not start going inside we will not 3 peat. If we cant shoot the ball better then we will not 3 peat. And can anyone explain why Shannon has as many shots as Drew? Unbelievable. I am not going to go back and pull out all the stats but just go back and look at the numbers when we are winning. Pau and Drew are usually more involved in the offense. We have to get back to that.

my response:

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310408022

Bynum 6 fouls in 33 minutes. Portland thought they could out run us and
they did.

FYI, inside-outside doesn't work when you have 17 turnovers.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310406009

Another team who thought they could outrun us.
Another boxscore w/ 17 turnovers.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310403013

Another box score w/ 17 turnovers.

Are you seeing a trend here? Consider this:

These loses are all against teams that are a bit younger & a bit more
athletic than the Lakers. So they try an uptempo game.

The Lakers make a turnover. The opposing team either gets a fast break
layup or drains a quick 3 because we don't get back on defense.

What's the typical 1st response: To try and get those point back quickly.
To show that you can shoot too!

When you combine 17 to's w/ poor shooting nights ... you get losses. There's
a reason that Jerry West commented on the footspeed of Pau & Bynum.
FYI, Bynum is moving much better/faster since he took off the 2nd knee
brace. Translation: I am not bashing Bynum. Don't go there.

The team that is the biggest threath to the lakers winning the championship is The Heat. The Celtics are a legitimate threath but the Heat is the real deal. Kobe and the Lakers are 0-4 against LBJ over the last two years. The reason being lbj is unguardable. He is just as big as ron ron, just as strong but much faster and can jump out of the gym. Last season the cavs dominated the lakers in both games. On Xmas day he gave the nba fans a present by dropping a triple double on our heads. Against the Celtics in the playoffs he threw that series cause he wanted to go to miami. The fact of the matter is LBJ hasn't hitting his prime yet and kobe is over the hill. If Lakers meet the heat the king will finally get his crown. Pray to face the Cs or the bulls in the finals people.

LEWSTRS Roll Call ... Checking In!!!

I'm out of gas. A win tonight clinches HCA over OKC. A 5 game skid would be disappointing. Whatever.

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

When lbj left the cavs they went from being a contender and winning 67 games to the worse lottery team who will not win 20 games. That how great this young man is. If kobe hadn't played this season LA would still have won 50 games and be in the playoffs. LBJ is a back to back MVP and a force of nature.
.....Hobbit you really write some nonsense often. If a team is faster than you and they want to run you put them in the half court set and pound the middle. When Kobe and ron take 39 shots and miss more than half the shots then this give the other team even more opportunities to run. Drew only getting 2 shots is not winning basketball man. Take off those kobe tinted shades and realise what is wnning ball and what is idiotic. What kobe and ron did was insane.

See when kobe and ron clang a shot it's a long rebound already so that team just will be able to run. But when you drop the ball to drew or gasol they already shooting well over 50% and so more than likely the shot will go in or it is a good miss. If they feel involved in the offense they will get a few offensive rebounds as well . Listen if I was Drew or Gasol I would not rebound as hard if the ballhog will not involve me on the offensive end fire all of those bricks. Phil is an eunuch who can't seem to be able to control Kobe.

= ==========================
{_I___I___I___I___I___I___/____))
I____LAKERS 3 PEAT BUS__/__!!!empty!!! }}
I____________________________--I
(_( @ ) ( O )___ _____(O)-( @ )__/____/
pop! ,^, pop!
ssssssssss , , sssssssss
oooooooil

I guess it takes a lawyer to get the bus right.

Go Kings/Royals!

Sonnybelfast

Sonny -

I've never even seen a 1Peat Sactown Queens Bus...

LMAO....

[Cowbell Kiss]

JUMP ABOARD...KINGS MOVING BUS...
We don't know where we are moving to, but we are moving!!!

===========================
[_|___|__|___|__|__|__|__|__|__\
|__ _ KINGS MOVING BUS _\__\__
l__________________________--|
\_(O)-(O)____________(O)-(O)___/

Sonny Belfast - Driver

The Outlaw and Baby Outlaw present and accounted for.

Go Lake Show!

Sonnybelfast,

Reporting for duty Sir, well I'm busy grandkids-sitting and waiting for the Masters in Augusta. Don't worry too much of these last three regular season, they're part of the Laker propaganda. Next week will be the Championship game for the Kings vs. defending Champ and may also serve as the last game in Arco Arena. Will they move to Anaheim? People of Orange County say a big flat NO to new taxes & another bad team. Where will they move? How about outsourcing them to Asia? Haha! Maloof Bros. are in dire need of mullah cuz' their Palm Casino is not even making a break even. Come home Sonny, help ur team and the poorer Maloofs', show loyalty to the Kings before it becomes a defunct institution.

Lakers have the best road record, and 5th best home record this year...

What is the big deal about HCA...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

With regards to the Lakers what are they supposed to do. Don't watch the last four games, go back to February till April when they started the 17-1 winning streak. Do what works and avoid giving the ball to the opponents. I think that is common sense, do u need x and y to learn those techniques.

Here is why they need to win against the Thunder?

1. To remove that iota of doubt lingering in the minds of every fan.
2. Bring back the habit of being a winner and LA loves a winner and disdains any loser.
3. They have a chance to have a HCA against the Celts and Heat as well as Orlando.
4. They don't want to slide to #3 in the West and let Mav's get ahead of them
5. Being fair to fans who are spending big bucks who're going to Staples, please show some interests.
6. Win for Phil and these are his last few games as a Coach of the Lakers, please take care of his winning record.
7. Think of the employees who are paid on hourly wages or those kids at McDonald flipping burgers, can they afford to be complacent and lackadaisical during working hours?

Hi Edwin...please add the following to your list:

8. Because you are World Champions and World Champions play to win, whether it's Game 7 of the NBA Finals or a pickup game on a blacktop asphalt court with ratty chain-link nets.

Here is why they need to win against the Thunder?

1. To remove that iota of doubt lingering in the minds of every fan.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 10, 2011 at 09:23 AM

====

Respectfully Edwin, that should be modified to "in the minds of many Lakers fans." To me, this recent skid has been nothing more than an annoyance, like a mosquito buzzing around in your ear.

JA Adande said something with which I agree. He said the Lakers at their best have been better that any other team at their best. I even take that one step further, as you know, because I believe that championship mettle is a part of this team's DNA and that you can't just toss this team's recent playoff experience out the window based on this recent lull.

THIS fan has no iota of doubt, lingering or otherwise. The Lakers have averages 18.5 turnovers the last 4 games. That is a result of a lack of focus which will NOT spill over into the playoffs. I believe that we're healthy and we're ready for EVERY challenge. Right now.

@Lewstrs............Thanks for keeping the 3-peat Bus and the Roll Call going!!! We need all the help we can get. Agree with Laker Tom about Hornets, Celtic's and Sun's winning today...Cheer them on. @EdwinG..Agree with everything 1 thru 7!! The Big's will have a great game today! Go Lakers kick butt and take names!!

Perkins will receive a couple of facials tonight.

Pau should have stabbed his ass with a knife during the game, he is a nice guy and all but should not let other idiots talk shit about him... I dont think it matters to him if the other guy talks shit or what not... he is passed that as he said... Also as soon as his done acquiring tons of money playing in NBA he'll be back in Spain... enjoying life....


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