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2010 NBA Finals: Lakers Big Man Goes 'Pau' on Kevin Garnett

Frances White@WestEndGirl62Analyst IIJune 5, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics goes up against Pau Gasosl #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 15, 2008 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Game One saw Kevin Garnett witness a stellar performance by the 'charmin-man' Pau Gasol.

The Laker forward came into the game knowing that he had to use his varied offensive skills to offset Garnett’s intensity. He did whatever he pleased as Pau left KG earthbound to gobble up offensive and defensive boards.

This is the match-up that Phil Jackson lamented about knowing that somehow he had to motivate the Spaniard to new heights.

Well he did it for Game One and therein lies the question whether or not Gasol can sustain this intensity throughout the Finals.

In each of the previous rounds the more games the Lakers played the less you saw from him.

Game six against Phoenix saw him finish with 6 points and 9 rebounds. Amare' Stoudemire got physical with him and he all but disappeared.

The Zen Master had to use his Jedi mind tricks to get Pau to play hard in Game One. But let us not forget that he has to raise the ante to keep KG at bay.

Garnett hasn't been much better though the Celtics claim to a man that he is healthy. KG's less than stellar performance made Pau look like an unstoppable force.

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KG intimidated Michael Beasley in round one, dominated Antwan Jamison in round two and made Rashard Lewis disappear for long stretches at a time.

His best offensive output was against Jamison and that is because he had the height advantage.

In Game One of the Finals he looked bewildered as Gasol made him look silly with every move he made. Gasol was able to rest on defense because KG was reluctant to crash the boards and put a body on him.

For all his accolades KG is very similar to Gasol in terms of not really liking contact.

He talks a great game but sometimes whizzes on himself when the pressure is on for him to deliver.

Garnett used to overcome this with his incredible length and ability to get of his feet quickly. Now that his athleticism has diminished he is becoming more reliant on his fade away jumper.

For the Celtics to win KG must put together all the little things he did in the first three rounds and attack Gasol in the paint. He must make him work harder and make Gasol feel his presence on the floor.

This series is a true testament of his intestinal fortitude. Game Two must see Garnett live on the edge of sanity and make Gasol think twice before he comes into the post.

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