Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Laker Pau Gasol #16 after scoring in the first half during game seven of a Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Sunday May 17, 2009 in Los Angeles Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

With the Lakers early struggles, many fans, haters, and analysts have put a lot of the blame on the shoulders of future hall-of-famer Pau Gasol. Many claim that Pau is soft, past his prime, and simply not a very good power forward. First of all, those statements are all completely ridiculous, as Pau has arguably been the best power forward in the league since joining the Lakers (for the sake of this argument, stats will be measured starting from the 2008-2009 season).  All stats were taken from NBA Reference. Player A: 17.3 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, .5 bpg, 36 years old, 0 rings Player B: 16.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.7 bpg, 24 years old, 0 rings Player C: 18.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 bpg, 32 years old, 2 rings Player D: 24.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, .73 bpg, 34 years old, 1 ring Player E: 15.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, .93 bpg, 36 years old, 0 rings Player F: 20.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, .88 bpg, 28 years old, 1 ring Looking at these statistics allows fans to determine opinions on their own rather than to say blatant, inaccurate statements like “he’s soft” or “he can’t finish around the rim” that others say without reason. At the same time, no, these numbers can’t explain important basketball traits like defensive ability or movement without the ball. But at the end of the day, numbers are the way players are judged, so until a new system comes out, this is the best we have. Also keep in mind that each one of these players has experienced a rather significant injury in this five-year span, so no player has an advantage over the other. Player A: Tim Duncan Player B: Kevin Love Player C: Pau Gasol Player D: Dirk Nowitzki Player E: Kevin Garnett Player F: Chris Bosh Photo Credit: AP Photo/Don Ryan Among these incredible six power forwards, Pau ranks 3rd in points, 2nd in rebounds, 1st in assists, 2nd in blocks, and 1st in rings, for an average ranking of 1.9 (the highest of anyone on the list). For those who call Pau “soft,” he was second in both rebounds and blocks, two stats which generally determine if a player is soft or not. Just because Pau screams most of the time when he goes to the basket does not make him soft (maybe it’s a Spanish thing). Also keep in mind that I am not using this list to say that Pau is the greatest power forward of all-time. In no way does Pau have a better career than some of the names on this list, but he has been productive in the last 5 years (his time with the Lakers) as any of them. In addition, nobody can say Pau’s stats are inflated because his scoring numbers are still high despite having Kobe and he has had to compete with Andrew Bynum (and now Dwight) for rebounds and blocks. As for Pau’s struggles this year, he is in a new system that requires the power forward to sprint up and down the court. Pau has tendonitis in both knees and is currently 32 years old, which is past the time of athletic prime. He has also spent most of his career in the post, and has one of the best face up games the world has ever seen. Most of Spain’s sets in the 2012 Summer Olympics ran through Pau in the post, and Spain saw more success against the US than any other team. Once Pau becomes more settled in this new role (or gets traded), he will begin to excel and probably have more rounded stats between points, rebounds, and assists. Coach D’Antoni may also want to consider giving Pau the majority of the minutes at the center position when Dwight is not on the court. -Langer

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
1 Comment:
  • Pau is a tremendous player who has been treated unfairly by his team mates and management. Its only because he gets paid good money and knows he can still kick ass when healthy that he puts up with all the crap he gets thrown at him. He is a center by nature at his age. A good coach will get the best from him. we will see, wont we.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steelers fans were more profane on social media

Seahawks praise Tom Brady's trash-talking ability

Richard Sherman's girlfriend talks possible Super Bowl baby

DeMarco Murray: I don't pay attention to being replaced

Bucs believed to be going for Marcus Mariota with No. 1 pick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

DeMarcus Cousins calls out writer for five-year-old tweet

What if Drew Bledsoe didn't get injured in 2001?

Who should make up the 2015 Hall of Fame class

WATCH: Porn sounds played during Predators broadcast

Five worst teams to win a Super Bowl

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck defend Patriots on Kimmel

Watch: John Oliver tackles the Super Bowl

The Washington Redskins and their forgotten dynasty

WATCH: Katy Perry cracks Deflategate, Marshawn jokes

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Seahawks praise Brady's trash-talk

Who should be in 2015 HOF class

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.