Lakers coach Phil Jackson felt that part of Pau Gasol's struggles Sunday in the Lakers' 99-92 win over the New Jersey Nets had to do with the officials swallowing their whistles when it came to the Spaniard.
"I just think it's been kind of a 'Just go out and beat up Pau' type of philosophy," Jackson said. "Don't let him have anything easy, stay on his body and rough him up as much as you can. Referees are just going along with it. Everybody is just doing it, wearing him out and trying to be physical with him all the time. He gets a little frustrated with it but he's got to get a mental attitude towards that of 'I'm going to have to take care of business on my own if the referees aren't.'"
Gasol responded in the fourth quarter with six of his 15 points, four of his 11 rebounds and two of his five blocks after letting the extra contact get to him early on.
"I thought he stayed with it," Jackson said. "We tried to encourage him on the bench to stay solid with it and fight. He got smacked in the mouth a couple of times and he came to the bench and was a little bit befuddled but he went back out there and did some good things at the end."
At one point in the fourth quarter, he let out a scream after grabbing a late defensive rebound and was muttering to himself and shaking his head in exasperation as he ran back up the court.
"I felt they were coming up our backs a lot and I didn't get one call all night as far as guys coming up my back," Gasol said. "I was just a little bit frustrated [saying], 'Get them off my back, get them off my head.'"
When asked about the beating his fellow All-Star had to endure, teammate Kobe Bryant didn't exactly have Gasol's back, however.
"You just go through that [stuff]," he said, dismissing the issue with a curse.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.