Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Pau Gasol: Long range bomber? (VIDEO)
By Brian Kamenetzky
Even while talking to us Mike Brown watches his guys, positioning himself so he can see the court while taking questions from the media. No surprise, then, to see him trail off during an answer when something on the floor caught his eye.
"Pau just hit six 3's in a row," he said.
Gasol has made exactly two shots from beyond the arc since joining the Lakers, in 10 tries, and is a 22.4 percent shooter from distance over his career. Still, for the last couple of seasons he's showed nice range in post-practice shooting sessions, and during this summer's European Championships, Gasol hit seven triples in 11 attempts. The international 3-point line is about a foot closer to the rim than in the NBA, but it's still long enough to prove a point.
"I feel good about taking a couple outside shots," he said Tuesday. "It's another weapon I think I can add to my repertoire, and I think the team can use if [Brown] decides to. I'm really comfortable with it, and usually shoot a very good percentage."
Asked his personal record for consecutive triples made, Gasol shrugged. "I don't know. Fifteen? Twenty? I can make a few."
Brown said he's fine with Gasol bombing away, at least in theory. "If he’s out there and he’s open, I told him today that he can shoot it," Brown said. "Obviously he’s got to know when he’s capable of making them and missing them. But we used to spot Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the corner quite a bit to stretch the defensive bigs, and we allowed him to shoot the ball.”
Obviously nobody wants arguably the most skilled post player in the league loitering around the 3-point line like a 7-foot Mike Penberthy, but if he can periodically stretch the defense and hit at a percentage that would keep the defense honest, why not? He's smart enough to pick his spots and knows the difference between good shots and bad (no 21-footers, please), and the threat makes him that much more difficult to defend. Gasol says if opposing forwards eventually learn to come out and contest, he's very comfortable putting the ball on the floor and attacking from the arc.
Jason Kapono notwithstanding, the Lakers still need all the help they can get from the perimeter. Something to keep an eye on, whether Friday during the team's open scrimmage, during the pair of preseason games against the Clippers, and even into the regular season (assuming Gasol's continued presence, of course).
More fun stuff below, as we try to get him to admit his brother Marc, who just inked a big deal with the Grizzlies, owes Pau big time for asking out of Memphis. If he doesn't do that, who knows what happens to baby brother's career?