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Category: Pau Gasol

Lakers reportedly interested in Ramon Sessions

The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers struggle against the Charlotte Bobcats--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers remain interested in acquiring Cleveland point guard Ramon Sessions.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers struggle against the Charlotte Bobcats.

--The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell reports that Gerald Henderson, D.J. White and newcomer Reggie Williams will play Tuesday against the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues that Metta World Peace's move to the starting lineup is a good idea.

--Fox Sports lists Lakers forward Josh McRoberts as one of the 10 best NBA enforcers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky argues that the Lakers shouldn't pursue free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas.

--Hoops Hype's Roland Lazenby wonders if Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will stay.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe remains concerned about Kobe Bryant's minutes.

--The Daily News' Elliot Teaford focuses on the Lakers' struggles against Charlotte.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks to trainer Gary Vitti about various team injuries.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Actuarially Sound wonders why the Lakers have struggled with rebounding.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano wonders why the Lakers aren't lowering Bryant's minutes.

--Lakers Nation's Nadya Avakian says Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are key to solving the Lakers' consistency issues.

--Laker Nation's David Brickley, Jason Riley and Kevin Figgers debate numerous Laker topics.

Radio interview

I talk all things Lakers with ESPN Radio 1430's Guy Haberman in the audio file below.

Mark Medina on ESPN Radio

Tweet of the Day: "The @blakegriffin dunk tonight over Perkins made me realize that he's one of the best in-game dunkers in @NBA history." -- MagicJohnson (Lakers legend Magic Johnson) 

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I can see Sessions. But I was under the impression that the Lamar exemption was to be used in trades for major new talent. If Ramon Sessions is the difference between a ring or the lottery this season, sure, trade exemption well spent. I think people in the Arenas camp weren't so much in love with Arenas as they were with the 'can get for vet minimum' factor. If we are blowing the trade exemption on stuff like Sessions, I would propose that we are better off saving the money, or blowing it on somebody who we can trade for a draft pick.

I appreciate hearing about stuff like how Sessions or other players would contribute, but please. At least acknowledge that the two aren't entirely comparable. I don't say this as someone who wants us to get Arenas, at least at the expense of somebody else. I say this as someone who thinks the two aren't mutually exlusive, and frankly they might both be a bad idea, but.... I mean, you ignore the fact that we could get Arenas AND Sessions with practically the same expense." -- Phred Phredphredington

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Gerald Henderson and the Charlotte Bobcats have given Kobe Bryant and the Lakers fits, not to mention a losing record, recently. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

What if Rick Adelman became the Lakers' head coach?

A few possibilities on how things might have unfolded had Minnesota's Rick Adelman become the Lakers' head coach

In only his first year as head coach, he's helped his players transition from the triangle offense, has overseen a promising point guard and has witnessed an all-star forward flourish.

We're not talking about Lakers Coach Mike Brown. His team remains inconsistent on running his read offense. The Lakers' point guard spot is their weakest link, and forward Pau Gasol has lacked consistency.

Instead, we're talking about Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman. Even though Minnesota's total offense dropped this season from 101.1 points per game to 95.11, the team's record (9-11) will easily surpass last season's win total (17). First-year point guard Ricky Rubio looks promising as a playmaker, averaging 11.4 points and 8.8 assists. Four-year all-star Kevin Love has increased his scoring average from 20.2 points per game to 24.9 and has decreased his weight from 265 pounds to 240. 

Adelman told reporters he's hardly thought about the Lakers front office passing over him and Brian Shaw in favor of Brown. But given the L.A. team's current struggles, many fans sure are. Below are a few possibilities on how things might have unfolded.

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How Kobe Bryant might explain Kobe System to Pau Gasol

Each Nike ad touting Kobe Bryant's so-called system touts his driven quest to achieve absolute greatness.

And after seeing him push Chinese singer Wang Leehorn to reach his potential, chastise motivational speaker Tony Robbins for asking a question and challenge Jerry Rice to dominate during post-retirement, I can't help but wonder if Pau Gasol should be the next guest.

Gasol has recently lamented how Mike Brown's offensive system forces him to become more of a facilitator than a low-post presence. Bryant and Brown have mostly argued that Gasol needs to play with more aggression. Gasol's recent play showed all parties were right to some degree. Hence, why such a Kobe System Nike ad featuring El Spaniard would be interesting. Based on player tendencies and recent statements, the ad might go something like this....

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Pau Gasol says Mike Brown's system needs more balance

Pau Gasol--Lakers forward Pau Gasol tells Canal+ Espana in Spanish that Mike Brown's offensive system "has to help us all so we can contribute so [Kobe Bryant] doesn’t have to carry the load.  So at the end, it’s not just only his decision or the decision of any other player on the court, but more about the plays we run and the system.”

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes how everyone seems to mispronounce Andrew Goudelock's name.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr observes the Lakers are slowly forging an identity.

--Ball Don't Lie's Dan Devine provides an entertaining photo caption involving Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

--Fox Sports lists Kobe Bryant as one of the NBA regular-season MVP candidates.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky argues that Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Mike Brown all have valid points to varying degrees on how the Lakers should run their offense.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford recounts Bryant's conversation to Metta World Peace about providing energy and toughness on a consistent basis.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks to Andrew Goudelock about his career-high 14-point effort against the Clippers.

Tweet of the Day: "Happy Birthday to my Daddy-E-O! Jerry Buss #PhD #USC #innovator #winner #bestownerinsports #Lakers"  -- JeanieBuss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss).

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "So, Artest is so utterly dominant on defense that he's gotten bored? Yeah... ummm... it must be very interesting waking up each day to your own personal delusion." -- Jon K.

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol blocks a shot by Clippers forward Reggie Evans during the first half of Wednesday's game at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Pau Gasol played with more aggression in win against Clippers

He roared.

Nearly every time up the floor, Lakers forward Pau Gasol established post position and called for the ball.

"I wanted to be aggressive and wanted to be effective and get out early," Gasol said. "It worked out well."

He delivered.

The Lakers' 96-91 victory Wednesday over the Clippers featured Kobe Bryant's consistency (24 points), Metta World Peace's surprising fourth-quarter effectiveness and Andrew Goudelock's even more surprising coming-out party (14 points). But it also featured Gasol playing with more aggression, a topic of conversation Lakers Coach Mike Brown and Bryant reiterated after the Lakers forward complained about not receiving enough looks in the low post.

"It's a perfect example of: He needs to be more aggressive," Bryant said. "When he's more aggressive, the ball is going to find him."

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Lakers' bite matches bark in dogfight with Clippers [Video]

There was roaring, growling and even some uninvited petting in an utter dogfight between the Lakers and Clippers on Wednesday night.

The Lakers won, 96-91, trying the teams' season series at 1-1.

There were six technical fouls assessed in the game, four to the Lakers, two to the Clippers.

Tensions ran high through the final seconds of the game, highlighted by an odd sequence with 1.1 seconds remaining in which Pau Gasol rubbed the top of Chris Paul's head.

Paul found the gesture condescending, recoiled, then promptly reached his hand up to Gasol's mane to return the favor.

That was just one of the many chippy incidents that littered the game.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds. Andrew Bynum contributed 19 points and six rebounds. Rookie Andrew Goudelock scored 14 points and Derek Fisher added 11.

In the video above, The Times' Melissa Rohlin and Mark Medina talk about the Lakers' win, which snapped their three-game losing streak and added fuel to the seething rivalry between the two teams.

MORE:

Clippers' Chris Paul irked that Pau Gasol rubbed his head [Video]

Five things to take from the Lakers' 96-91 victory over the Clippers

-- Melissa Rohlin

Pau Gasol downplays skirmish with Chris Paul

The Lakers and Clippers say they don't have a rivalry. 

But they sure do act like it.

The Lakers' 96-91 victory Wednesday over the Clippers ended with one image that defines the heightened animosity. After Clippers forward Blake Griffin fouled Lakers forward Pau Gasol with 1.1 seconds left, Clippers guard Chris Paul attempted to swipe the ball from Gasol's hands while the two sniped at each other. Kobe Bryant also stepped in, jawing continuously at the Clippers guard, as Gasol walked to the free-throw line. 

Gasol then put his hand on top of Paul's hand, which prompted the Clippers guard to shove Gasol's hand away and tap him on his head. 

"I got a son of my own," Paul said. "I don't know if Pau got kids, but don't touch the top of my head like I'm one of your kids. I don't know what his intentions were, and it doesn't matter. I don't know if he's got kids, but I'm not one of them."

Gasol appeared amused that Paul took offense at the incident. 

"I'm sorry he felt that way," Gasol said. "I do that all the time with my teammates. It's OK. If I touch your shoulder or back, there's nothing mean about it. It is what it is." 

And what is that exactly? From a neutral perspective, Paul acted pretty immature for trying to swipe the ball away. Gasol acted pretty immature for rubbing his head. 

"Chris is chippy," Bryant said. "I'm extremely chippy and that DNA spreads to the rest of the team. That's how it is."

And how it is with Gasol and Paul went beyond just the overall contentiousness the Lakers and Clippers displayed in a game that featured six technicals, one flagrant foul and one ejection. When the Lakers played the Clippers in two preseason games, Gasol admitted his refusal to acknowledge Paul. The Lakers initially acquired Paul in a trade that would've resulted in Gasol going to Houston, but the NBA rejected the deal. 

Instead, they find themselves on both sides of a brewing L.A. rivalry. 

"I'm not much of a talker on the floor," Gasol said. "I play hard and try to do my best to help my team. Obviously a couple guys are talking. So I'll talk back."

And rub his opponents' head too.

RELATED:

Pau Gasol says nothing to Chris Paul

Mark Medina and Melissa Rohlin preview the Lakers-Clippers game

Five things to take from the Lakers' 96-91 victory over the Clippers

--Mark Medina 

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

Times correspondent Melissa Rohlin contributed to this report

Pau Gasol takes Clippers 'very seriously' (Web links)

 

The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously"

 

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously."

--The Times' Turner reports it's possible Clippers guard Chris Paul will play Wednesday against the Lakers.

--The Times' Melissa Rohlin reports Blake Griffin's contention that he doesn't flop.

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott looks at the rare times the Lakers have functioned well on offense.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr focuses on Gasol's unhappiness with his role.

--Fox Sports ranks the Lakers at No. 15.

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth breaks down the differences between rooting for the Lakers and for the Clippers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues that Dwight Howard wouldn't fit in well with the Clippers.

--Fox Sports West's Michael Martinez notes that the Clippers don't view their match-up with the Lakers as a rivalry.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains why Lakers Coach Mike Brown is "still searching" with his team.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky dissects how Gasol can balance scoring and facilitating.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe argues that the Lakers' main problem on offense has to deal with their lack of shooters.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if the Lakers could win the title without acquiring Howard.

--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson ranks the Lakers at No. 15, saying it's partly because they are squandering Gasol's skills.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith argues that the Lakers should keep the current roster intact and wait to sign Kevin Garnett via free agency this summer.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell compares and contrasts the low-post touches that Gasol and Andrew Bynum receive.

--The Orange County Register's Dan Woike notices that the Clippers are refusing to engage in any trash talk with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman wonders why the Lakers remain horrible from three-point range.

--Clips Nation's Steve Perrin argues that the Clippers shouldn't have a hard time defending the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Pau Gasol said today that the Clippers needed to be taken "very seriously." A year ago, people would have laughed at him. Not any more." -- Mike_Bresnahan (L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan) 

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The team has an identity and its a winning one: 3 Finals, 2 Rings, 4 Playoffs. Its Brown and his coaching staff who don't know what they are. They're not teaching old dogs new tricks, they're telling the bulldogs they're now suppose to be greyhounds. Good luck with that." -- Pi Ang

RELATED:

The Kobe System stresses adaptation

Little clarity provided about Pau Gasol's role

Mike Brown: NBA reassesses Blake Griffin's push on Darius Morris

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Pau Gasol battles the Clippers' Blake Griffin on Jan. 14. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Lakers, Clippers remain contentious

Matt Barnes remains annoyed at Blake Griffin's perceived flopping.

Just like the dunks, that's a part of his game," Barnes said. "You just got to adjust to it."

Pau Gasol remains annoyed with the Clippers' (9-5) perceived superiority over the Lakers (10-8), mainly because "they have a pretty much easier schedule than us so far," Gasol said.

Derek Fisher remains annoyed that the Clippers' two preseason victories and one regular-season win  over the Lakers makes them into an archrival.

"There's too many of those up there to get into that discussion," Fisher said as he pointed at the Lakers' 16 championship banners at Staples Center during a last week's All-Access event. "At the same time, obviously for a lot of fans that aren't at this particular event, that's exciting for them. That's fair. That's fine. It's been quite some time since you've been able to be excited."

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Lakers remain unsure about team's identity

The Lakers enthusiastically enjoyed their time off, as Andrew Bynum slept in, Matt Barnes spent time with his twin sons and everyone on the team finally rested their tired legs.

But once the Lakers set foot in the team's practice facility in El Segundo on Tuesday morning, reality awaited them. The Lakers (10-8) enter Wednesday's game against the Clippers (9-5) with a three-game losing streak. They haven't scored 100 points for 11 consecutive games. And most important, the Lakers have no sense of their identity nearly a quarter of the way through a compacted 66-game season.

"The biggest thing is I'm still searching and looking on both ends of the floor," Coach Mike Brown said."I understand it's a process. The process has taken a little longer than you would hope. But this is a long-term thing for me. It's not a short-term thing."

But no one on the Lakers says he knows what the short term entails. Brown shot down any notion of making any lineup changes but said he "always has to keep that into consideration." Brown mostly lamented the team's inconsistent defense that allowed Indiana to rally Sunday from a double-digit deficit, but Bynum, Barnes and Pau Gasol alike argued the team's problems point more to their offense.

"It comes down to the little things and not just relying on our defense to win," Gasol said. "But also to do enough offensively with the weapons that we do have to win ballgames."

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