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Thoughts on Pau. Also, someone needs to tell this fool D-12 that he ain't a low post player.

He is an off-ball big man who can get points via PnR, offensive putbacks, and diving to the basket in general. I hate how everyone gives him a hard time for not having low post skills, which affects the way he views himself. He thinks he needs to be like Shaq or Hakeem to validate his talent, not just to himself but to the fans in general who view his limited offensive skills as a crime against humanity. As Charles Barkely likes to say, he's just not that type of player. Which is just freaking fine with me. Everyone knew that Phil should've coached the team but I honestly didn't think Mike D'Antoni was a bad choice, if only for the simple fact that HE DOESN'T UTILIZE THE LOW POST. But for whatever reason, whether it is the pressure from the media, or because they need to placate baby primadonna Dwight, they started out each game giving Dwight a few runs in the post. A lot of those touches he squandered away with his poor ballhandling and his propensity to dive right into the teeth of the opposition's defense to set up his running sling-hook shot.

I would've thought D'Antoni would run pick and roll plays to death for this guy. Achille-less Kobe or washed-up Nash could find this guy cutting to the rim blindfolded. These new generation players are too caught up in what people say. He just needs to go back to being who he is as a player. A wise man once told me, do not envy the talents and attributes of others. Embrace the physical/mental attributes that god gave you and you will be able to maximize your own skillset. Dwight, you are not Hakeem, you are not Kevin McHale, hell, you're not even Shaq in the low post. I would rather put Kobe, Pau or Metta World Peace in the low post because they possess the skills and physical attributes to succeed with their back to the basket.

Last season, Dwight was clearly not there both physically and mentally. This is forgivable to me because I am dealing with microfracture surgery on my ankle and the mental aspect is probably the last obstacle I must overcome eventually. However the biggest obstacle in Dwight's way is his erroneous perception of himself.. he is the prototypical new age big man who excels in the pick and roll on both ends of the floor. So Dwight, before you pick the team that is best for you, make sure you embrace who you are as a player and as a person. Because if you continue to allow yourself to think you are something that you are not, then I'm not certain that Lakerland is the right fit for you. Go to Houston or something. Let Kevin McHale teach you a few post moves you will never utilize in games anyway. Or maybe he will be the one who sets you straight. Ugh, stop bringing the ball down to your crotch each time you have the ball right in front of the basket!

I really hate to say this but I really really hate our team. And this isn't all on Jim Buss either. Phil let Bynum be the 2nd banana and our offense plummeted overall because while Bynum might score like Pau, he couldn't pass for shit. So yea Kobe carried that team to a slightly better record than the Clippers, but they eventually got asswiped by the Thunder after a hard fought series against Denver. And last season, we let the injured shell of Dwight to post up while Kobe and Nash and Pau were chillin out on the perimeter. But I guess it was more forgivable than giving Bynum that responsibility since Dwight was not locked into a long term contract and we had to bend over backwards for the guy.

All of this leads to our resident White Swan. I'm reminded of the first time Kobe contacted Dwight about joining LA. He basically told Dwight, "If you come to LA, you will be the defensive anchor, and on offense you are third in line behind me and Pau." Dwight took heavy offense (Dwight, a 3rd banana?!?! Preposterous!!!) to that as well as the anti-Laker fans who interpreted the article as Kobe being a smug, arrogant jerk.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. The reason that the Laker's offense fell off a cliff after that 2009 season (some of the most beautiful Laker basketball I've seen in recent memory) is because of the growing role of Bynum and how that dynamic undermined the ball movement provided by our skillful Kobe/Pau tandem. You take Pau out of the equation, then really the only great facilitator on the team is Kobe. And just like scoring, you need at least two guys who are good at swinging the rock in order for a team to be championship-caliber. MJ's Chicago teams never had a true point guard, but they had Michael and Scottie, two of the best playmakers in the game at the time. Kobe is one of the best passing guards I've ever seen, but if his sidekick is Dwight or Bynum, the ball movement becomes stagnant.

So there you have it, for those of you who took the time to read this post in its' entirety. For me to embrace Dwight as a Laker, he must embrace himself as a player. And for those people saying Pau is the best trade bait, well he is by far our best asset. But unless we get a guy who can facilitate the way Pau once did for our team, it's dumb to suggest getting rid of our own personal version of Scottie Pippen is somehow a good idea. Pau has also been dealing with injuries the last few years, hopefully this pathetic excuse of a season allowed him to rest and recover.

If Dwight gets his head together and commits to the Lakers, our defense will become formidable once again. But without an elite facilitator, our offense will be the same ugly ass dump the ball in the low post to Dwight until Kobe decides to carry the team back into the game. Defense is the most important ingredient to win championships, but offense is half the game as well.



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