Pau Gasol has been completely absent during the playoffs and has struggled to produce against the Mavericks. We may have the reason why Gasol is playing without much fire, but that hasn’t stopped Phil Jackson from trying to slap him out of it. Literally. Phil got physical with Pau during Game 3 in Dallas, confronting him several times when Pau went to the bench. Let’s roll the tape:
I got the sense earlier in the series that Pau was deferring to Kobe too much and wasn’t really acting for himself. It seemed like he was conditioned to think “I don’t have to do anything because Kobe is our leader. I’ll do my job and get the ball to him.” With that sort of mentality, you lose aggression and don’t hunt down shots on your own. That’s what seemed to be going on with Pau, but the problem is the team has needed him and he hasn’t delivered.
Dirk Nowitzki is handling him on both sides of the floor and completely outclassing him. It’s a sad state of affairs and not one I expected to see from Gasol. It certainly isn’t what Phil expected, and that’s why he’s trying to shake some life into his star forward.Google+