Prior to missing seven games in February with a groin injury, Pau Gasol had put together one of his best stretches of basketball this season in January.
He averaged 20.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 blocks, while shooting 51.0 percent from the floor. This included a streak of 20-plus points in 10 straight games as well as 11 double-doubles.
And his offensive play has continued over the last month.
Post All-Star break, Gasol’s production – particularly his scoring inside the paint – has noticeably gone up; he is converting at a much higher rate closer to the rim (from five feet and in).
Pre All-Star break: 125 for 210, (59.5 percent).
Post All-Star break: 60 for 87, (69.0 percent).
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
Below is a look at Gasol’s shot chart post All-Star break:
From October to January, Gasol shot 46.6 percent from the floor, but in 12 games since the All-Star break, Gasol has made 53.3 percent of his field goals, in large part because of his efficiency from inside.
“The rhythm as to where he gets the ball, when he gets the ball and how he gets the ball, gets better as you go through the season,” assistant coach Dan D’Antoni told Lakers.com. “As the lineup has kind of solidified in the last two or three weeks, I think Pau is a little more comfortable where the spacing is with these players, and as he finds it, his talents are extraordinary, and he’s going to put up huge numbers.”