Pau Gasol: Joga Bonito

Kurt —  December 17, 2009

First, before anyone says it: I know I used the Portuguese in the post title. I also am well aware that Portugal and Spain are different countries (Spain is the one with a chance to win the World Cup). But I thought the phrase applies.

Sometimes, we don’t appreciate what a beautiful game Pau Gasol plays. How he makes the offense flow. How he does what is needed — lately that has been rebounding, so for the last four games he has averaged 19.5 rebounds a night.

The video above is Gasol’s points gainst the Bucks — he had 26 points, 22 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. On a night when the rest of the team looked lethargic, Gasol looked like he had downed a case of Red Bull. He was everywhere.

And if he had not been everywhere, Kobe Bryant would not have had the chance to hit the dramatic game winner.

Watch, and enjoy Joga Bonito



32 responses to Pau Gasol: Joga Bonito

  1. Gasol’s game is sublime, plain and simple. At the time I didn’t see what the big deal was, but I see why coaches were mortified that the Lakers got Gasol for peanuts.

    What big man is playing a better all around game then Pau right now?

  2. Kurt I understand that Gasol is a phenomal player and you like the way he plays the game. But saying that gasol is the MVP of the Lakers is just plain foolish. Right now? he is the Lakers second best player and its just crazy to suggest that Kobe is not the Lakers’MVP. since you seem so big on stats, go check +/- stats for when KB is not on the floor.

  3. I felt so bad watching it, hearing the Bucks’ announcers so excited when they went up by 4 in OT when I knew the outcome… lol

  4. 2

    I don’t see where he says Pau is the MVP of the Lakers…

  5. #4, exactly what I was going to say.
    I don’t think anyone who watch Lakers games would say Pau is the team’s MVP, that’s normally something some of the “Kobe haters” (I really don’t like this expression, but it’s really impressive how some people just don’t like him) use.

    Joga Bonito is an ad by Nike in football (soccer for you, north americans), not sure if they use it with other sports though but it definitely can be used to describe Pau’s game. Specially in nights like last. He’s been playing greatly this season and this rebounding explosion has been just… amazing.

    Pau Gasol: Joga Bonito e Joga Muito.

  6. This is completely off-topic, but so mind-blowing that I had to post it:

    The Knicks are 9/29 from beyond the arc against the Bulls tonight. Just so you know, the game just went to half-time.

  7. 2. I suggest reading Kurt’s post again and contemplating on what you just wrote.

  8. Ah I’ve been waiting for something like this. Pau truly plays a beautiful big man’s game (it’s hard to compare the estethics of it to say, Kobe’s game).

    Now I just want to see the Lake Show start running the two man game with Pau and Kobe more, and that title will be in the bag.

  9. Pau’s game is just so aesthetically pleasing. It’s just beautiful to watch his mastery of the game, from the high and low post. It’s honestly a crime the way we use his skills on offense. If he at least touched the ball on the majority of possessions (like Shaq in the old days, although Pau is a much better passer) our offense would run so smoothly and we wouldn’t need Kobe’s heroics.

  10. In a story over at NBCLosAngeles I said Pau has been the Lakers MVP lately. That he fills in what is needed besides scoring. Bottom line, the Lakers don’t win last night or in June without both.

  11. You know what, just the other day I was thinking about Pau as our “glue guy.” People usually take that to mean a good-chemistry or high-IQ guy with little skills (ala Battier) and so get insulted when the term is applied to Pau. But I remember reading an article where Pau said there were too many egos caring about their numbers and roles, and he was willing to do the little things – whatever it took to win.

  12. Overall I think Kobe is the team MVP, but there are definitely significant stretches where it is Pau. And his game does more for Kobe’s game than anyone else on the roster.

  13. According to ESPN:

    “Gasol has been a terror on the glass recently, snatching 78 rebounds in his last four games. The NBA record for a four-game span is 79, held by Marcus Camby.”

  14. we know what the team looks like without pau, it looks like 4x losses.

  15. Well, if Kobe missed some games due to his injuries, we’ll have a better idea as to who is our MVP.

    What is sure, though, is that it’s nearly unfair to have them both on the same team.

  16. After many years of lack of quality PF for the Lakers, it’s truly a pleasure to be watching Pau showing the skills and understanding of the game as the best all-around low post player in the game, maybe even better than Tim Duncan, only because of difference in FT shooting.

    Just to refresh the memory, Rambis, AC Green, Sam Perkins, Orlando Woolridge, Horace Grant, Samaki Walker, Kwame Brown and etc. were hard working bigs, but they were surely no match against the PFs of the west, which included Karl Malone, Charles Barkeley, Tim Duncan, Chris Webber, Rasheed Wallace, and Kevin Garnett in their prime. Of course, we’ve had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vlade (lol), Shaq, and now Bynum in the middle, but we always felt somewhat limited in our PF option. Now that we have the most complete PF in the game along with the best young center in the west (DHoward and BLopez are better in my opinion), I feel giddy just thinking about the matchup nightmare our pair of bigs causes for the opposing teams.

    What makes Pau so unique is that he is truly a guard in a 7 footer body. He understands how the game should be played on both ends of the court. He covers many of his physical limitation with his fine skills, intelligence, and poise. I really do think he has grown even more as a player since he came to LA thanks to Kobe and PJ.

    What we have in Kobe, Pau, AB, LO, and RonRon is truly special. I almost feel like this group can be even more dominant than MJ, Pippen, Kukoc, and Rodman or Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Mychal Thomson, and Scott, or Bird, McHale, Parrish, and Walton as long as it continues to grow and learns to play together as a team. I’m not saying that this team is the GOAT, but it can be dominant in this era like those dominant teams in the past. Surely, they can play the game as efficiently and as beautifully as the other great teams that are mentioned above, thanks to the uniqueness of Kobe and Pau.

  17. @ 13

    Not blaming you but there is no way the NBA record for rebounds in 4 games is 79. Wilt used to average 27 per game. Almost impossible that he wouldn’t get 79 in a 4 game stretch.

  18. Let Pau boom boom play without Kobe and see what he does .They are clicking together.

  19. In my opinion Pau is to submissive. He’s Euro, everyone passes, everyone scores, everyone plays defense as a team. It’s different than the NBA. There’s not so many egos, so many street ball(I’m a superstar) ego’s, they play as a unit. That being said we cant fault either player… Kobe is super aggressive and takes bad shots sometimes(Doesn’t phase him) and Pau is to passive and doesn’t demand the ball and when he does he wants to make the right play. It’s who they are thankfully, it’s in their DNA, without each other there is no ring, and no possibility of a repeat.

  20. Bill Russell also average around/above Wilt when it come to rebound. So I am guessing they don’t record it back then.

  21. 17, 18,

    I had a feeling that wasn’t the case. It didn’t seem right considering Wilt was a beast on the boards. I bet the “record” of 79 only pertains to basketball since the inception of fantasy leagues or something. Pretty misleading, though.

  22. Kurt,

    Guess soccer is not your game at all.
    No way that Spain is going to win the World Cup next year.

    They choke every time. it will happen again in South Africa. I’m tired of seeing it already.

    Better stick to Basketball.

  23. I’ve been thinking the last few games, and considering Pau’s comments after the Jazz game, I think he’s lit a fire within himself and is playing motivated, or even angry. I don’t believe there would ever be any outward display of this anger, but I think that has helped fuel him. Like we all know, and the blogs have harped on with Drew, rebounds are about effort. I think Pau is demonstrating effort and playing driven because he is somewhat upset about his shots. I think the combination of Pau’s motivation and Drew’s lack of it is on display. One wants it, one doesn’t right now and the stats are reflecting it.

    I don’t think this lasts too much longer. When Drew gets ‘it’ back, the numbers will even back out.

  24. Without Kobe, we don’t make it out of the first or second round. Without Pau, we don’t win it all. Who’s MVP? They’re both indispensable.

    PS: Brazil is my team, though they’re not as good now as the last time they won the cup.

  25. Gasol nearing extension? Can’t trust this story too much since it’s Hoopsworld (e.g. premature stories of Lamar’s resigning last offseason).

  26. I would have to agree that since coming to LA, Pau has really improved as a player. Those Memphis teams didn’t use him to his potential, and he had reached a point where he was peaking out there. The triangle is a perfect system for a player like him, who doesn’t rely on his athletic ability to be effective. And having a great player by his side surely drives him to get better every day.

  27. Russell averages more rebounds than Wilt??? Are you kidding? Wilt holds the record at 27 rebounds/game over a year and his career average is something like 22/game. Russell was a beast on the boards, but didn’t average in that area – no one else did.

    20/game for a year was considered outstanding – today it would be god-like, but that’s another question.

  28. New “let’s talk trade” post up

  29. One last note on Bynum’s rebounding. It comes from everybody’s fav around here Henry Abbott, but he went a year ago to the David Thorpe run hoops week for media types camp, to show them how players practice, drills they do, how they try to get them to think. He makes a great point:

    If I learned anything at Train Like a Pro, it’s that a lot of players limit their rebounding by limiting their definition of which rebounds they should try to get. If you’re on the left block and a ball is bouncing off the rim to the right baseline, you can get there. But you have to have that idea, and act on it, which most people don’t do. Therefore, their rebounding numbers are limited to balls that bounce to their area, which is just not that common.

  30. that’s the reason why Spain didn’t win last Eurocup,isn’t it??

  31. to tell you frankly, pau is really a player to reckon with, kobe is a great player, but having pau on the lakers makes them more a championship caliber team, the guy is just as excellent as we want him to be,and his smart, a no none sense basketball player from spain, im very proud of him he’s really good and becoming one of the best, ….

  32. and one thing more about pau he’s a good looking guy and want just to play not to become a lawyer in a basketball court, like some other player who rides more on complaining ….. a pity on them ….try to observed and you see what i mean.