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Pau Gasol says Lakers aren't exploiting size advantage and are 'not being smart'

After taking only eight shots and scoring nine points in 97-82 loss at San Antonio, the Lakers' third straight defeat, the 7-foot center suggests the ball isn't going inside often enough, and that the team isn't playing with enough togetherness.

December 28, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from San Antonio — They have all this size with two 7-footers and a 6-10 forward with the wing span of a 7-footer.

And yet, the Lakers inexplicably have refused at times to exploit the advantages they have in Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

The 7-foot Gasol is perhaps the most skilled of the Lakers' big men, but he was, for the most part, a forgotten man Tuesday night in their 97-82 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

"I don't think we played the smartest game, put it that way," Gasol said. "I don't think we attacked smart out there. We've got to recognize what's going on and understand where our strengths are against certain opponents and try to exploit them."

Gasol finished with nine points on three-for-eight shooting. He didn't score in the second half, taking just two shots.

Gasol, who had nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots, is not pleased that the Lakers have lost three consecutive games.

"Whatever it is that needs to be fixed, you've got to do it all together," Gasol said. "It can't be an individual effort from nobody. It's got to be all together, on a string, like a family."

One member of that Lakers family voiced displeasure with the effort of his teammates after a 96-80 loss to the Miami Heat on Christmas. And he vowed things would be different.

That family member was Kobe Bryant, and things were different Tuesday. Bryant took three times as many shots as Gasol, 27, and missing 19 of them.

"I think any time you have Kobe taking that number of shots he had and pressing a little bit, Pau kind of got out of the offense because of that," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "[. . .But Gasol] didn't have a good game."

Maybe, it was suggested to Gasol, he should demand the ball more.

Maybe, it was suggested to Gasol, all the big men should demand the ball more.

"We can," Gasol said. "I think we should a little more. We have to take advantage of our size. That's one of the main strengths of this team and we go away from it and we don't utilize it. And we're, like I said again, not being smart."

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