The Lakers scrambled to a 117-115 victory over the Bulls courtesy 28 points from LeBron James. But Kendrick Perkins didn’t like Marc Gasol on D.
Marc Gasol was hailed as a better defender than Dwight Howard when signed by the Lakers in November. Statistically, he formed the most dominant duo in the league with LeBron through 7 games, averaging +28 points/100 possessions. But that stats has definitely changed over the past 3 games.
Gasol is no longer a deterrent to guards who thrive on drives to the rim. At nearly 36 years of age, his fastest days are behind him, and he regularly gets caught out of position in the pick-and-roll. The Bulls generated tons of open looks in his presence on Friday night.
The Lakers used an early 4th quarter surge to take control of the game. But against a team with much inferior talent like Chicago, they shouldn’t have struggled even in the absence of AD.
Kendrick Perkins criticizes Marc Gasol, says Lakers might need to send for JaVale McGee
So far, Gasol is averaging very few minutes in the Lakers lineup, and with good reason. He almost always shares the court with LeBron, and his main role on offense is to provide touch passes and to stay out on the 3-point line. In terms of spacing, he’s a plus, but teams are abusing him in the pick-and-roll.
Perkins noted the same yesterday when he said: “The Bulls are picking on Gasol every time down the court putting him in every pick n roll! Lakers might need to hit the Cavs and get McGee back some how. Real Talk!”
The Bulls are picking on Gasol every time down the court putting him in every pick n roll! Lakers might need to hit the Cavs and get McGee back some how. Real Talk!
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 9, 2021
The Lakers definitely need somebody to shore up their PnR defense in the playoffs. Montrezl Harrell is simply not going to cut it – he’s too small and too leaky a defender for this job. Even if AD plays the bulk of his minutes at the 5, his time on the bench would be a free pass for opponents to attack the Lakers’ soft center.