Pau Gasol was a real problem for the Los Angeles Lakers during the team's embarrassing four-game sweep at the hand of the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 12.5 points per game on 42 percent shooting, and nine rebounds per game. More importantly, he was just awful in about every attempt to defend Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks power forward who crushed L.A. at seemingly every turn.
Through the series, rumors circulated about relationship drama Gasol was going through. The Lakers' power forward alluded to his off-court issues in his post-game remarks after L.A.'s crushing Game 4 defeat. From Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears:
"I'm going to look back and see everything that's been going on," he said. "Try to handle it better. And whatever goes on, on or off the floor, just try to keep it that way and not let it affect anything that goes on on the floor."
Gasol was the key to the Lakers' back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010; the Lakers were wildly unsuccessful in the playoffs during the era after Shaquille O'Neal had been traded and before Pau was acquired. It'll be interesting to see how much goodwill he's burned this season.
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