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Pau Gasol is locked in, and he'll tell you as much

Just fantastic:

He's on to something!

There's a clear demarcation line of his season so far in terms of Pau's usage.  That 4-OT game against the Pistons where Pau played 48 minutes, and he was given the night off in the following game. After which Joakim Noah injured his shoulder leaving Pau as the only nominal center on the roster. And he's indeed stepped up since then.


Shooting is up, which is the key thing to illustrate. Not seen is he's gotten more offensive rebounds and assists, but he's done worse in defensive rebounding and turnovers.

It's individual offense/defense split is pretty startling, and a microcosm of the whole team lately. The defense has slipped, but the offense has gotten so much better due to myriad reasons that it's more than making up the difference. And Pau has been a big part of that as the safety valve on both Rose and Butler pick and rolls.

Impressive that Pau has actually been more productive given that he probably shouldn't be over that 30 minute mark too often anymore. Thibs was accused of running him into the ground with that 34 minute mark last season, and Hoiberg is even playing Pau for entire quarters again. That will obviously change a bit when Noah returns.

But here's to Pau being locked in when the team especially needed him. How will he celebrate?

As Tom Ziller said, that's "peak Pau"