Originally written on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The Lakers will most likely do whatever they can to trade Pau Gasol this summer in order to help keep their salary books under what is currently $100 million. Gasol knows it. But that doesn't stop him from giving his all on the floor for this team. In a crucial game against the Mavericks on Tuesday, Pau put on a defensive effort on Dirk Nowitzki that really set the tone for the Lakers' defense the entire night. Averaging 21.3 points on a 57.1% clip in the prior 10 games, Nowitzki was held to just 11 points on 4-out-of-13 shooting, including 1-of-3 from distance. The credit also goes to Earl Clark, who had himself a phenomenal game and was the biggest reason behind the Lakers' 7-0 run after Dallas used their own 11-0 run to cut their deficit to just 5 points in the 3rd quarter, but it was Gasol's intensity on the defensive end from tip-off that kept Nowitzki out of rhythm offensively. That is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination despite Pau's similar height and length to Dirk — but especially when you consider that Nowitzki usually thrives in the 4th quarter. But since Gasol, who was playing just his 6th game back from missing 20 games due to his torn plantar fascia, never gave him a chance to get comfortable on offense, Nowitzki missed all 3 shots he took down the stretch when the Mavs needed him most. Even the very best defenders in the league know that stopping the best scorers in 2 consecutive possessions is extremely tough. But to keep a scorer like Nowitzki out of his element for 48 minutes in a must-win game, especially from someone who isn't known for his defense, is unheard of. Gasol has taken plenty of harsh criticisms from a lot of people the past couple of seasons. They thought that, along his declining physical traits, he had lost that hunger, that desire to win another title like he showed during the last 2 championships. For one night, at least, Pau gave Laker fans a glimpse of that old championship grit.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Report: Ray McDonald arrested again for domestic violence

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Is Adrian Peterson leveraging himself out of the league?

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

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

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

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.