Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 12/6/12

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
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Drew Brees trying to 'save the game' with flag football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jackson ‘laughing with confidants’ about fleecing Dolan

Report: Blake Griffin may still return to Clippers despite Chris Paul exit

Report: Eight teams already interested in Zach Orr

What to expect from United States Men’s National Team in Gold Cup

Bryce Harper fuels Cubs speculation with Instagram post

Mike Trout progressing towards return before All-Star break

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

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

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker