What's up to all of my Laker Nation out there. I have been accused of only writing FanPosts in the aftermath of a disappointing loss, however I am writing this one in response to something extremely good. If you are a serious sports fanatic like myself, you might on occasion yell at your television screen during the game and hope (by some mystical, supernatural way) that the person you're directing your anger at will hear you. Hence, this is the sole purpose of me writing this FanPost and also joining Twitter; so that if any of the Lakers players ever happened to come across this blog or even a heartfelt Tweet, they might somehow lend an ear to my ramblings. Just maybe.
Last night we all witnessed the ever-so familiar scenario of the Lakers going into Game 5 of a playoff series with an inferior opponent after being tied at 2 games a piece, and watching them win in dramatic fashion. Sounds like a Hollywood script, doesn't it? Furthermore, the majority of things that had gone wrong in the previous games, somehow found a way of working itself out during the duration of the second half in last night's game. One of the biggest things that I'd noticed about last night was the fact that Pau Gasol finally decided to play with a tiny bit of toughness. That's right, I just used Pau Gasol and toughness in the same sentence... exactly.
This was something that I certainly had to point out being that he has been a virtual no-show for most of this series, and the simple fact that he happens to be one of the Lakers two All-Stars this season. Last night I observed that he finally started to use his physical advantages over Carl Landry. He blocked a number of shots, he drew a charge, and I think I even saw him convert an and-one of a post move hook shot. He played with something that had been seriously lacking in Games 1 & 2... EFFORT! I mean, this is playoff basketball for crying out loud. I almost jumped out of my seat when I saw Pau, instead of crying about a pretty obvious foul that wasn't called on the offensive end, chase Aaron Gray down the court, even tugging on his jersey to get back on defense. Now that was priceless.
I just wanted to mention that because I have really been disappointed in Gasol's play as of late, and I really feel like he is a key ingredient in the Lakers' formula of winning another championship. In some way I think this series is kind of good for him. As a result of all the hacking the refs are allowing in this series, I hope it teaches Pau the mentality of just playing through it instead of crying over it. Hey, he's sure gonna need it in the next round, should the Lakers make it there. He might be going up against an opponent where he doesn't have the luxury of a 4-5 inch height advantage. I'd really hate to see what would happen to him if Kendrick Perkins was breathing down his neck.