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Pau Gasol is starting to find his way with Howard, D'Antoni

April 04, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers forward Pau Gasol passes around Dallas Mavericks big man Chris Kaman in Tuesday's victory.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol passes around Dallas Mavericks big man Chris Kaman… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Pau Gasol finished four assists shy of a triple-double Tuesday night as the Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 101-81.

"My timing, my legs, my conditioning is getting better," said Gasol after practice Thursday.  "Everything is just flowing nicely.  Let's see if we can keep it up."

After sitting out for more than six weeks with a foot injury, Gasol has gradually improved through six appearances since March 22.  Over the last four games, he's averaged 13.8 points while shooting 54.2% from the field.  He also collected 7.5 rebounds a game and dished out 5.5 assists.

The Lakers went 3-1 during that stretch.

Coach Mike D'Antoni has struggled to blend Dwight Howard and Gasol together on the floor this season.  Certainly injuries to both have played a factor, but Gasol has often expressed discomfort playing regularly outside of the post.

"It's always a matter of compromise," said Gasol. "We're both inside players, really. I can step outside and make plays from outside, but I'll always be most effective from the post, and having the ball inside and making plays from there. He's always been an inside player, a post player ... a pick-and-roll player. In a system that we'd all like to be spread out, it's been a challenge.

"Now that I'm getting more into the post and I'm making more plays, I think I'm always going to get him involved and look for him."

D'Antoni and the Lakers have made a greater effort to get the ball to Gasol inside the past few games.

"It's working," said Gasol. "It works."

It's something the veteran power forward hopes continues over the final seven games and into the postseason.

Gasol will face his brother, Marc Gasol, when the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.


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Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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