Pau Gasol to Remain in the Lakers’ Starting Lineup

by December 10, 2012

Mike D’Antoni put the speculation to rest, at least for now — the struggling, and currently-injured Pau Gasol will continue to start in Los Angeles. Per the LA Times: “Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said he wanted to see how the power forward and injured point guard Steve Nash play together before making any adjustments to his lineup. ‘I’m not going to mess with Pau,’ D’Antoni said Sunday, alluding the possibility of bringing the four-time All-Star off the bench. ‘He’s too important to the team and he’s earned it and he’s too good of a player to even go there yet. That would be a last-resort kind of [thing], desperate.’ Then again … ‘If you lose, then you always try something,’ D’Antoni said. ‘So I don’t want to ever say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ But at the same time, I don’t have any intentions to do it. I don’t think we should do it.’ Gasol has averaged 12.6 points and has shot 42%, on pace for career lows in both statistics and leading D’Antoni to bench him in the fourth quarter of two games. D’Antoni said part of Gasol’s ineffectiveness could be tied to deficiencies in the Lakers’ offensive scheme. ‘There’s times when we’re not exploiting him, where he should be and what he’s doing and everything,’ D’Antoni said. ‘So it’s a little bit out of kilter and until we get it all straight and balanced then I really can’t make a decision or he can’t feel comfortable.’ Gasol sat out a fourth consecutive game Sunday as he continued to rest his knees. D’Antoni said Gasol’s status would be re-evaluated before the Lakers start a four-game trip Tuesday in Cleveland. ‘Probably into Cleveland or someplace he’ll start moving a little bit,’ D’Antoni said, ‘and if the pain is less or very little, then he’ll play.'”