Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Pau Gasol recently returned (per The Associated Press) from a foot injury, which means debate over the seven-foot Spaniard's usage in Mike D'Antoni's offense is set to intensify once again.
It's been a rough transition year for Gasol, as he's had to deal not only with injuries, but also with new personnel and new coaching that have pushed him out of his comfort zone.
Prior to the 2012-13 season, Gasol had established a reputation as one of the league's premier post-up big men, using gorgeous footwork to his advantage down on the blocks to create separation from defenders.
Now, under D'Antoni, Gasol has been pushed back to the free-throw line, his primary area of operation.
According to NBA.com's stats database, Gasol has attempted 175 shots inside of five feet, his most of any area on the floor.
This is to be expected. What's troubling is that Gasol has attempted only 47 more shots from close range than he has from 15-19 feet.
On the whole, Gasol has attempted a total of 227 shots from inside of eight feet, while he's attempted a combined 237 from all areas beyond eight feet.
Considering that Gasol has converted on just 34.7 percent of all attempts outside of eight feet, D'Antoni will need to rethink the way he uses Gasol in tandem with Dwight Howard in the weeks ahead.