When the Lakers are clicking on offense, Pau Gasol gets early touches in the post then makes quick decisions, either attacking or setting up cutting teammates.
Tuesday night in San Antonio — and for the last couple weeks, really — neither of those things have happened. The Lakers have fallen out of the habit of having Gasol as the hub of the offense, and when they have gone to him his decisions have not been crisp.
The Lakers need to get back to those things if they are to regain their offensive form, and both Gasol and Andrew Bynum emphasized that to Yahoo.
“We need to really stay inside the system, attack teams and use the mismatches to our advantage,” Bynum said.
“We didn’t play a smart game, put it that way,” Gasol said. “ …We have to recognize what’s going on and understand what our strengths are against certain opponents, and try to exploit them.”
“It can’t be an individual effort from nobody,” Gasol added. “It has to be altogether on a string, like a family.”
Kobe’s regret about the individual effort? He didn’t hit his shots.
“I couldn’t put the ball in the basket and it snowballed from there,” Bryant said in front of his locker late Tuesday. “It’s my responsibility to make them.”
Kobe is smarter than that. He knows that the offense works better through Gasol early and him late. But Kobe wanted to drag the Lakers out of their funk and tried to kick-start them himself. It worked in one sense — Tuesday against the Spurs was the best energy the Lakers have given on the court in weeks.
But the execution is lacking. Those habits need to be relearned. And that starts with the ball going to Gasol in the post early and often.