Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  July 22, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol wanted a fouled called after battling under the basket in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at USAirways Arena on May 25th, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 115-106 to even the series.

The majority of the love awarded to the Lakers goes to Kobe Bryant, and it’s definitely with reason. However, Pau Gasol has become a super star in his own right and has earned a spot near or at the top of the list of the best big men in the NBA. Basket Blog’s Mike Trudell took the liberty of comparing Pau’s numbers to the stats from some of the league’s other big men. During the regular season only Dwight Howard recorded more rebounds per game (of the bigs on the list) and no other big man recorded more assists per game. During the post season, only Carlos Boozer averaged more rebounds and only Amare Stoudemire and Dirk Nowitzki averaged more points per contest. Again, no one dished out more dimes and only Howard had more blocks per game. It’s safe to say that Gasol is one of the most well rounded big men in the NBA.

It’s been two weeks since LeBron James’ “Decision” and it’s still being talked about today as if it happened just a couple of days ago. Since then, we’ve heard some of the NBA’s greatest ball players – Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and the Lakers own Magic Johnson – weigh in on the choice LeBron made (all saying they wouldn’t have gone LeBron’s route). Robert Baptista of Silver Screen and Roll argues that Jordan made his statements to preserve his legacy as the greatest of all time.

This was posted in the comments by Mimsy a couple of days ago, but here is the column by ESPN’s Ombudsman, Don Ohlmeyer, on LeBron James’ decision. This is probably the most interesting piece that I’ve read about the program, not the decision itself.

As most of you have heard, Chris Paul has requested a trade from New Orleans and yes, the Lakers were on his list of possible trade destinations. I don’t think too much should be read into this. To acquire a talent like Paul, the Lakers would have to give up some talent back, and probably a big man. Part of the reason why the Lakers have been to three straight NBA Finals is because of their size and length and giving up someone like Andrew Bynum for a 6’1’’ point guard wouldn’t make much sense. I do believe that Chris Paul is either one or two on the list of best point guards when healthy, but size doesn’t come along as often as talented point guards. The Lakers will be best served by standing pat on this one.

Phillip Barnett