Pau Gasol Voices His Frustration

Despite the Lakers struggling as a team in Game 4, Pau Gasol had an excellent night statistically: he finished 8-of-11 from the field, for 21 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, Gasol has been stellar the entire series when he gets his touches, taking 40 shots and making 63 percent of them. But that's the problem right there: Gasol hasn't gotten nearly enough touches, considering what he's been able to do against the undersized Nuggets. And he's finally saying something about it.

Gasol is among the most professional of all the Lakers when speaking to the media. He rarely says anything of consequence, much less of controversy. After Game 4, however -- a contest in which he and Andrew Bynum combined to make 14 of 18 shots while their teammates jacked up 31 three-pointers -- he was done being polite.

"I wish we would take more advantage of our height and the inside game, because it's pretty effective. It's unfortunate that we don't recognize it enough,'' Gasol said.

"I don't know what to do anymore to be able to get a couple more looks. Like I said, I've been pretty effective all season long, and in the playoffs, and I want to continue to be able to help us have a better chance of winning ball games. I think I've been doing that. I just haven't had a chance to do it enough.''

This isn't Gasol speaking out of turn, or channeling Shaquille O'Neal in some sort of demand to be "the man" on this team. Gasol is a competitor, and he has a point: if something seems to be working, then the team should work to make it more of a focal point of their game plan.

"It's frustrating because we lose games,'' Gasol said. "I don't mind when we win, because the bottom line is, I want to win. But I feel like we have an advantage, and I'm effective, we should stay with what works and what's effective and not get away from it. It just doesn't make a lot of sense.''

One way Gasol might be able to get those additional touches (and shot attempts) is to work harder at keeping the Nuggets off the glass. Denver out-rebounded the Lakers by 18 over the course of the game, and finished with a ridiculous 20 on the offensive end. That's all heart and hustle -- which is something that will overcome the Lakers' size advantage, every single time.

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