Originally posted on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 4/3/13
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

Giants owner: Signing Kaepernick would anger fans

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

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

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

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