Pivot Points: Pau Gasol's Return Is More Memorable Than His CSI Performance

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer INovember 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands on the court during the game against the Chicago Bulls on November 19, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Laker coach Phil Jackson alluded to the point that he felt Pau Gasol's appearance on CSI: Miami could have contributed to his recent hamstring injury.

When pressed for an explanation, Jackson offered the theory that all the standing around that Gasol did on the set caused his legs to stiffen and tighten up, and when his part called for him to pull a person from a car, he could have been injured then.

After viewing Gasol's small piece on the show, Jackson surmised that Pau would be better off sticking with his night job. After witnessing the clip myself, I am inclined to agree.

His talents are much better suited to the hardwood as his return from an 11-game absence can surely attest. His grand entrance had all the drama and tension of a made-for-Hollywood moment and Gasol didn't fail to disappoint.

With the pulsating noise of a crowd chanting his name in the background, Gasol proceeded to score eight points in a little over one minute and give the impression that he had never been away.

His seamless transition back into the line-up contributed to a thrashing of the defenseless Chicago Bulls in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

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The Lakers had their mojo back, and the offense and defense finally appeared to play in a rhythm-laced unison. All of the qualities that the Lakers lacked were present in Gasol's return.

Their post defense was much improved as the combination of Gasol and Andrew Bynum dominated the smaller Bulls, and at times, seemed to play keep-away amongst themselves.

The spacing on offense was much better, which highlighted Gasol's perimeter passing that led to three assists and helped set up numerous others.

Derrick Rose did score 20 points, but his shooting percentage was horrible and this was in no small part due to the help defense that Gasol was able to offer after the Laker guards had been beaten off the dribble.

Pau's presence translated to his teammates to, as Kobe was able to return to his facilitator role, and came a rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double.

Ron Artest was able to play defense more aggressively without fear of getting beat baseline, and Lamar Odoom's return to the bench helped spark a unit that had been otherwise dismal.

Pau's active 24 point, 13 rebound night looked much better than the way he finished up his stint on CSI as a dead body on a cooling board, and it bodes well for the Lakers in the immediate and distant future.

Gasol's performance on CSI was drab and dull and hopefully will be forgotten the moment the show hits the airwaves. His acting was so bad that he had a hard time convincing viewers as a dead body.

His heroic return to the basketball court on the other hand was a grand performance, worthy of an Emmy for best returning player and the timing of it couldn't have been better for the Lakers.

We should appreciate the fact that Jackson was so frank in his critique of his star seven footer's television performance, and we should also appreciate the fact that he along with Gasol, realizes his time is much better spent on a basketball court.