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Five examples of Pau Gasol's passing skills

8/25/2010

If a couple years back Mitch Kupchak had found only a secondary scorer to pair with Kobe Bryant, the Lakers would have benefited. He did, of course, but in trading for Pau Gasol, Kupchak landed not only a guy who scores with great efficiency from multiple spots, but has a skill set tailored perfectly for the triangle, specifically the ability to see the floor (from a nice high vantage point at seven feet tall) and pass like a guard.

Gasol's vision and understanding of the best place to move the ball opens up scoring lanes for teammates in ways similar to Bryant's ability to make baskets from anywhere past the halfcourt stripe. A one-dimensional scorer along side Kobe wouldn't have elevated L.A. to consecutive titles and three straight trips to the Finals.

This isn't necessarily breaking news, but for a great illustration of what Gasol's passing does for the Lakers, check out this post from Mark Travis at But the Game Is On. It features not just video of five great sequences from last season's series against Boston ending in dimes for Gasol, but also whiteboard diagrams that, quite frankly, I have no idea how to create on a computer.

(H/T to Ball Don't Lie)