Pau Gasol: Best PF in the NBA?
For the record, I'm not going to take a side on this one.
But I've been reading throughout these forums, and hearing from not only Laker homers around here in SoCal, but also NBA analysts for the past two Laker playoff runs, that Pau Gasol is a serious contender for the being the best PF in the NBA.
Is Pau Gasol better than Dirk, Duncan, Stoudemire, Bosh, etc...?
Other questions to think about to raise discussions:
Could Pau Gasol be the best big in the NBA period?
Is Pau's current stature amongst the elite bigmen benefited from the recent drop off of Great NBA 4's?
Is it odd that despite being in the NBA for so long, he has only gotten recognized in this fashion since being traded to the Lakers?
What differences are there in Gasol's game now, than before he joined the Lakers?
Does Gasol's playoff success against the best big's the NBA has to offer in the past two years speak for itself?
DISCUSS LADIES AND GENTLEMAN!
I think with Duncan getting older..Gasol is now the most skilled power forward in the league..cant say he's the best..
Yes perhaps, although it seems strange that even during his seven year span with the Grizzlies organization, he was barely mentioned as the arguable best in that such category.
Is this just a product of exposure that comes with playing for the Lakers during the playoffs? I remember watching him at the Staples Center making then 2nd year center Chris Kaman his b*tch with his great finesse game while playing for Memphis. But no one would even think about making this thread back then.
It's the fact that he actually wins game now. Bosh is not the best PF because despite his offensive skills, he's such a bad defender that he was not as a dominant inside player as players like Garnett, Howard or Duncan, who are good defenders.
I've always thought that Gasol was one of the best bigs in the league, but I'm probably in the minority on that, since I lived in Tennessee and went to Grizz games. He was putting up great numbers in Memphis, basically because he HAD to, nothing much has changed except for his shots have gone down, and he's matured as a player since the trade to L.A.
As far as him being the best, I would say yes, just because he's proven his worth in the playoffs and the Finals. Might not have put up the greatest numbers in the Finals, but when they needed big buckets in big situations, it was either him or Kobe dropping them. It's hard to compare him to Dirk, there totally different players, and as far as Duncan, yeah he's moved slightly past him at this point. Amar'e is a very good 4, but hasn't proven it in the post-season. Having Gasol prove himself to be a key asset when it counts puts him over the hump for me.
P.S. Marc Gasol's no slouch either, but he is in Memphis...
Best PFs of the last decade:
who cares about the last decade, we're talking about RIGHT NOW!!!
i would say dirk is the best PF right now
I would say Dirk, right now.
It's hard to compare. Timmy and Garnett were beasts on both ends of the floor, you could put them at the top easily. Dirk, Amare, Bosh, Lee, Boozer suck on D. Gasol is probably the best there. But still:
It's hard to compare because Bosh and Lee played for sucky franchises. Amare with faster pace. I still put him over Boozer because he has a more consistent jumper. Both play with great PGs.
I think Dirk is the best PF in the NBA today. I think Amare could be debated for 2nd with Gasol though.
I think it's definately Dirk
... i'd also be willing to debate Amare with Gasol because I think they're both extremely talented offensive players, neither's forte is on the other side of the court ... but I just watched Pau destroy the celtics on the offensive boards in that series and have to give the nod to Gasol right now simply because he's a better more aggressive rebounder
In my opinion, Dirk doesn't do too much more outside of scoring to be the best.
The best PF in the game should average more than 7.7 rebounds a game (Dirk). Amar'e isn't skilled enough to be considered the best. Bosh gets destroyed on D. Duncan is too old.
That leaves Pau Gasol as the best PF in the league.
It all depends who you put around him.
He was the best player on a 50 win team.
And he was a top 15 player (maybe even top ten) player in the league on a team that won it all twice.
He's up there, but not the best. Probably the most skilled offensively right now, but I don't think he truly win as the best player like Duncan has, like Dirk almost has.
as a spurs fan I am deeply biased on this topic, but here is how I see it.
The "Best" could have 2 seperate meanings
The most skilled and highest performing PF: Has to be Dirk, his game is peaking right now and hes really filled out his all around game , although hes not the best defender and doesnt have the inside prescense others, hes become pesky on the O boards and a solid enough weakside defender to make him the "best" PF in the league now...
that being said...
guys like the aging Duncan, KG, and now peaking Pau, may not be the most prolific players, but in terms of the effect they have on the game, arre the most significant PF's... their lenghth, passing ability, and the fact that they require constant double teams makes them MVPF (most valuable power forwards)
Overall, I think it comes down Pau vs. Dirk.... from there you have to decide whats more important to choose
Amare has nothing on Pau. Gasol and Dirk are the best PF in the NBA. I think Gasol is the best BIG man in the NBA. He has so much talent
I'm riding with amare on this 1 I like his aggressive style he's a big that will never get mention as bein soft unlike Gasol
Why does everybody have this general belief that Chris Bosh is a bad defender. That is definitely not true. The truth is Bosh had way too much pressure put on him during his stay in Toronto. the past 2 seasons he started off the 1st bit of the Season averaging around 27PPG which during an 82 games season really increases hes fatigue. He was overutilized on offense and in rturn was outworked on defense by stronger PF`s. People say Bosh gets "destroyed on" but lets not forget how Howard gets manhandled by Yao.
Bosh is a terrific on ball defender in the post, a good weak side defender and great rebounder. This year as his offensive expectations decrease, his defensive expectations will increase and the same will go in respect to performance.
There is no clear cut BEST PF like there is at every other position.
PG-Williams, Paul when healthy IMO
PF-Gasol, Nowitzki, Bosh,
he was good when he was in memphis. but there was no talk about him being the best because garnett and duncan were in there prime. those two were being talked about the best in the league let alone pf.
gasol body is physically more mature now. he is stronger which has helped him greatly. member couple years back when celtics physical bigs man handled him.
timmy's got the defense
Oh sure!!! Amare isn't really known for his aggressive defense. It looks rather soft to me. By the way I don't think any of those guys is really soft. They might not be good defenders, but they fight and get hit all the time on offense and on defense. I don't think you could be an All-Star caliber player by being soft.
People who play next to Dirk:
Haywood: double double guy
Marion: a SF/PF
Kidd: best rebounding PG in the league
That's a pretty long team.
I'm not suprised that Dirk only get so few rebounds, because they have a great rebounding starting five. And if you look at former playoff series, he always averaged 10-11 reb playing around 40min.
i have to put pau over bosh and amare. Its tough to say with duncan becasue he is a legend, but right now his game has slipped and i think that leaves pau and dirk. I could see the argument for either side, but pau is a better rebounder, defender, passer and post player which is important to winning in the palyoffs becasue you need that inside presence. Dirk has trouble getting good looks in the playoffs when defenses collapse on him making him to hard to run the offense through with reliability.
as for some of the other questions regarding pau's rise to prominence in the nba big man rankings. FOr one, elite pf's like duncan and kg have fallen off. Two, he has gotten a lot better especially mentally where he doesnt back down from physical play as much. He has gone heads up with and arguably outplayed both dwight howard and kevin garnett in two straight finals while getting almost no double team help.
ANd yes, playing in los angeles with kobe and winning in the playoffs helps a ton as well for how people view him.
peronsally, i think bosh is better than amare, he has more skill outside of the paint and a better jump shot... but amare is the best powerfoward finisher around the rim
Just imagine a Pau and Dirk trade.
Dirk and Kobe together!!! unguardable
But Pau is definetly a better center than Dirk, that's why he probably fits better with LA, playing together with Odom.
ill take pau over dirk for the lakers. He fits the triangle perfectly with his posting and passing ability. Dirk would be coming off screen to pick and pop, but the triangle doesnt do a whole lot of that. Pau brings more to the table then dirk imo.
Pau Gasol is the best PF in game right now. Duncan is on the decline, Dirk is soft, and you could make an argument for bosh and amare as being the best. Dirk is purely a shoote, a 7 foot shooter. doesnt put ball on floor well, doesnt block shots, doesnt play defense. Dirk has never averaged ten boards a game, even before Haywood, Kidd, and Marion arrived. Gasol has the most skilled right now. He can shoot the j as well as pass and go to the low block. He need to get a little stronger and more physical but right now he is it.
Where is all this "Dirk is the best" talk coming from? He is a great scorer but what else? Pau is a better rebounder, a better defender, and a great passer and ball handler for a PF. Honestly I think the order goes Pau, Bosh, and a throw up for third between Amare, Dirk, and Timmy
Dirk rebound average in the playoffs:
00 - 8.1
01 - 13.1
02 - 11.5
03 - 11.8
04 - 10.1
05 - 11.7
06 - 11.3
07 - 12.0
08 - 10.1
09 - 8.2
Sorry, I didn't listen he never averaged more than 10reb??? I don't think that Dirk is a top rebounder like Bosh, Boozer or Gasol. But he seems to be able to grab the board when it counts.
Gasol really fits better with LA. I think both are great passers, although Gasol probably is slightly better imo. Gasol is a better defender and more capable of playing the 5, together with Lamar Odom as a 4 in the 4th quarter. And he's a better low post player, so he basically fits better in the triangle.
But who knows, maybe a little strategy change for the Lakers and they might have an unguardable duo. Seriously one of them will have a good look at he end of the game.
People have Dirk as the 1st/2nd, because he is the first offensive option on the 4th best team, while Bosh is the first option on a sucky team. Amare the first option on the team with the fastest pace. Boozer is the second option. Pau is the second option.
Being a Suns fan no one appreciates Tim Duncan's playoff dominance more than me. He may not put up the best numbers statistically speaking but no one controls both ends of the floor for their team like Duncan. He may be on the downside of his career but there is no way you can say that Pau is a better post defender/rebounder. He flat out carries the Spurs and Pau has been nothing more than a second best player on a championship team.
Pau is just at the top of his game right now, and he does everything a big man should do, unlike Dirk. Pau's weakness is his low post D, but it has gotten much better since he's been in LA. The only thing Dirk has on Pau is scoring, but Dirk is the #1 option while Paul is #2
25 PPG on .481 FG% and 18.5FGA; 7.7 TRB 1ORB (and who said he gets on the offensive boards?), 2.7 AST, 1BLK (should be at least 1.5 for a 7fter), .9 STL.
18.3 on .536 FG% and 13FGA; 11.3 TRB 3.7ORB, 3.7AST, 1.7BLK, .6STL.
The rebounding stands out a lot to me, and if an all-star big man averages 7.7 rebounds, then something is wrong. I know Dirk is known for his ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor, but he just doesn't do anything well that a big man is supposed to do. Especially for an all-star big man. If anything, he is just more of an attraction.
NJHooper95, there's a big difference between debating who is a better player versus posting bogus information. You said, "Dirk has never averaged ten boards a game". Why would you distort reality like that?
Dirk averaged 9.9 several times and Gasol only averaged more than 10 rpg one season
Dirk doesn't play any defense but rebounding his one of his strengths, especially in the playoffs. Whenever Dallas plays a big game, Dirk is always in double digits when it comes to rebounding.
Steroid, the same goes for you when you claimed Dirk doesn't do what big men do. Check out his rebounding stats over the course of his career.
Dirk did have two seasons where he averaged 9.9 boards a game, but for a 7footer he should be a career double double guy or close to it since we put him among the elite. And Pau is just now being considered among the elite since becoming a laker so i dnt expect his numbers to match Dirk. But at this moment he bring alot more to the table than Dirk. And to Dirk's credit he is a much better rebounder during the playoffs where it counts most
I think Pau's defense improved so much because the Lakers have such a great defensive team and are able to play team defense and are well coached.
People always hate on Chris Bosh and Amare's defense, but I think if you would have put them in the same situation as Pau, their defense would have improved as well. Or they simply looked better because they have a Bynum backing them up and a Kobe and Ariza/Artest who forces the the guards/SFs to take tough shots and you can easily grab the rebound.
And of course Dirk doesn't attack the offensive glass. He usually takes shots from the high post, how is he supposed to get the o-rebound?
By the way I wouldn't say rebounding is one of Dirk's strengths. But if you look at his situation, I think you can understand why he only grabbed 7-8 boards last season.
But players get better over time, and it's about who is the best now. Tim Duncan has out-rebounded Dirk and Pau over the years, but he clearly has declined as a player. What Dirk has done in the past seasons doesn't really matter and doesn't make him the best now. His rebounding has clearly declined, and yeah, a big man averaging 7.7 a game is a red flag. I don't think it is just a happening that he averaged that over 81 games. For a big man, rebounding is not a strength. The guy has never averaged over 1.6 ORB per game. That's just my opinion though, and I respect all the people who thinks that Dirk is the best PF because he is pretty damn good. I just don't think he is the best right now.
I didn't say one word about who was better, I'll leave that up to you guys because my primary interest is accuracy.
Both you and NJHooper95 claimed Dirk doesn't rebound effectively. Although my comment was really directed at NJHooper, I must say I still disagree with you because you based your opinion on only one season. Look at Dirk's career, he had 6 years where he averaged 9 or more rebounds per game. And 2 of those seasons he essentially averaged 10 per game.
Pau is the best all-around PF, and maybe the best all around big in the league period. He doesn't really stand out in one area but he is at least solid in every area.
Dirk is the best shooter/scorer
Amare the most explosive offensively
Duncan the best defender
CB4 and Boozer the most consistant 20-10 guys in the league
Pau is the best passer. The second best defender after Duncan. A better rebounder than Amare and Dirk. Yes he averages over 18 ppg which is lower than all the others but that is partially due to the fact that he's a second option on the lakers. His offensive game is still very skilled and 18 ppg is nothing to laugh at.
Pau and Timmy are most skilled. Dirk and Bosh are best with scoring. KG is best on defense. Pau and Bosh are the best rebounders. So its hard to say who's best because they're all good in different ways.
Oh Dwight just said that.
You guys are crazy if you think amare can be talked about in the same sentence as duncan, bosh, gasol, and dirk...amare shows up 50% of the time and when he does his talent is incredible but he doesnt show up every game...i feel like he would rather play a 30 game season than an 82 because he doesnt bring it every game like a true star
NJHooper95, you are being disingenuous. You said he NEVER averaged 10 rpg. While technically true, he averaged 9.9 rpg two different seasons. Why would you say that for a meager .1 of a rpg?
More importantly, between 2000 and 2009, he averaged between 8.4 and 9.9 rpg. That was almost a decade of quality numbers until last season, when he tailed off to only 7.7.
Let's summarize with a lot more accuracy. For 9 years in a row, Dirk was a very good, but not a great rebounder. If you feel compelled to criticize the guy, please stick to defense, where he is useless.
rtbt...i think mark cuban has understood his inability to play defense and thats why he surrounded him with solid defensive players in the frontcourt (shawn marion, brendan haywood, tyson chandler) these past couple seasons but i agree Dirk is a terrible defensive player...hes too good offensively for anyone to truly care however
Dirk is a fantastic scorer, a very good rebounder, and an atrocious defender. I didn't look them up, but I would bet money his playoff rebounding stats are higher than his regular season average.
Taylor, despite his lack of defense, I bet every coach in the league would love to have Dirk on their team. As all smart basketball people realize, there's always been star players in the NBA who played little or no defense. Dirk is hardly unique in that regard.
As for Amare Stoudamire, I think he's a great player but I want to see him do it without Nash before I'm convinced.
I've got to give it to Gasol. As a die-hard Celtics fan, I'm much more afraid of Gasol than Dirk. Dirk doesn't really play like a big, he uses his outside game too much. Gasol has hardened up in the past two years, and he is a great passer. Gasol is a great shot-blocker too. Dirk couldn't beat an aging Duncan in the playoffs, whereas I'd say Gasol is easily better than Duncan these days if you consider both ends. Like I said, got to give it to Gasol.
I wasnt to thrill when lakers got pau gasol i though the a big he hogs the ball but he prove me wrong he is the best power forward in the nba but if someones say he is i respect their opinion he is the most skilled big man in the nba hands down 2 years ago people where calling him soft and overrated i know i was calling him soft but he prove me wrong and got better every year he been with the lakers gasol has help kobe legacy cuz without we wont be back 2 back champs
even when he was in Memphis i said that i'll take Gasol over Dirk, i always thought that Gasol is one of the best he has everything you need in a bigman, he has great post up game but also outside game and also he has great allaround game!
You can't really bring the rebound argument because Gasol showed that he is unable to grab more than 10 with Memphis. In 12 playoff games with Memphis he avg's like 6 a game. His rebounding got up because the Lakers play better defense. He grabs more o-rebounds because he's in the low post, while Dirk is more in the high post. Gasol failed with Memphis when he was the first option, while Dirk led Dallas to ten 50+ seasons in a row, something not many teams have done in the history of the game.
As a first option I would take Dirk.
As a second option it's difficult. The way the Lakers play with the T-Offense, Gasol probably plays better although I think both have similiar passing skills, Gasol still has a slight edge. Gasol plays better defense, while Dirk stretches the court. I think you have to look at the team needs to decide.
And the argument that Dirk isn't a natural PF because he plays at the perimeter is bs. Was Magic a natural PG?? Is Lebron a natural SF? Was Bird a natural SF? Not really, they all had skills that seperated them.
Btw I think neither for them are soft.
Pau Gasol is one of the most skilled big man in the NBA today and the most efficient, he can score with both hands, has soft hands around the rim, can hit the 15 foot jumper, he has both back to the basket game and a face up game in which he mixes in a variety of moves, he is a good rebounder, solid defender and I believe after the 2008 Finals he has been much more aggressive and has played much more passionately and has played with somewhat of a chip on his shoulder to prove his worth, currently in my mind Pau is the best big in the NBA today due to his skill, high efficiency, and being on a winning team can always help because he is a main part of his team's success, he is the perfect complimentary player to Kobe and a great sidekick to him.
Dirk could be argued but at this point, Dirk is not that great of a defender, is skilled but not a great rebounder and really only looks to score, you never really see him bang inside or fight tenaciously for a rebound which is what PFs are partly meant to do, defend and rebound and he does not really seem to get the job done on both ends (only on offense) I like Dirk but I need to give Pau credit where credit is due.
Dirk is a better offensive player and is the leader of his team. Pau is better in defense and rebounds and is very good on offense also thanks to the fact that Kobe attracts the defense on him. Dirk better scorer Pau most well rounded
I'm pretty sure Gasol got wrecked by Garnett and Tim Duncan almost averaged a triple double against Gasol.... So I don't know why people are saying Gasol is a good defender....
I'm pretty sure Gasol got wrecked by Garnett and Tim Duncan almost averaged a triple double against Gasol.... So I don't know why people are saying Gasol is a good defender....
Are you talking about this year? Because if you are you're dead wrong.
Well I was pretty sure you were wrong so I took five mins and checked the facts:
Garnett averaged 15.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 1.3 BPG in the finals against the Lakers. Yes he had a couple big games but so what? He's a future HOF. Over the course of the entire series Gasol actually did more than contain him. Saying he got "wrecked by Garnett was a huge overstatement to say the least.
Tim Duncan played Gasol and the Lakers three times this year (He played the Lakers four times but Gasol missed one of the games). His averages were 15.3 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 2.3 BPG and 3.7 APG.
At this point I have to honestly ask you if you even know what a triple double is.
For the record Gasol's numbers against the Spurs this year: 21 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 3.3 BPG, 5.3 APG.
Would you say Duncan is a good defender torontoraptors10? Because Gasol put up better numbers against him than vice versa...
If Gasol is not a solid defender because he sometimes (not even close to always) allows future hall of famers like Duncan and Garnett to put up good numbers then I wonder whether or not you think Garnett and Duncan are good defenders anymore since Gasol consistanly plays so well against them...
If you honestly don't think Gasol is a tougher defender than other top PFs in the league like Bosh, STAT, Boozer, Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, David West and David Lee you need to watch more ball.
I don't think old stats should be taken into account period, but yet people do when we are talking about now in the year of 2010. Why does the fact that Dirk averaged over 9rebs on multiple occasions matter now? Personally, I didn't bring up the reb argument until someone mentioned how Dirk averaged over 9reb per game in the PAST; therefore, he is a good rebounder NOW, right(sarcasm)? He rebounds in the post season, but he somehow can't get it done, and most of the time, he doesn't even stay in the post season for that long, so really, those stats might be a little inflated for some of the years. I posted stats that were the lastest, and it's not some coincidence that his rebounding declined this year, and they're not going to go back up significantly this year. Big men who decline in rebounding usually continue to decline or it stand stills. Also, people say he isn't a good offensive rebounder because he is on the perimeter. Well is that what big men are supposed to do? A big man not getting rebounds and blocks is like a PG not getting assists and stls. Dirk does everything he isn't supposed to do basically at the PF position. That is good and bad. The whole was Magic a natural PG or was LeBron a natural SF is moot because they did what their position called for AND more. I never saw Magic lacking in assist or LeBron lacking in scoring or reb. Dirk lacks to fill the stat sheet where even mediocre PFs fill. How can years old stats apply to guys who are in 29-32 yrs old who are entering the downsides of their careers anyway?