Pau Gasol Unhappy With 4th Quarter Benching Again

by January 30, 2013

Despite their three-game winning streak, not every Los Angeles Laker was happy last night. Pau Gasol was glued to the bench in the fourth quarter — head coach Mike D’Antoni says he couldn’t get the big man back into the game when the New Orleans Hornets went with a small lineup during their late rally — and once again voiced his displeasure. Per the LA Daily News: “Gasol missed the entire fourth quarter after posing seven points on 1 of 4 shooting, seven assists and seven rebounds, an element he touted as more significant than if he actually starts in the game. ‘I’m a competitor and think I bring a lot to the table,’ Gasol said. ‘It’s something I don’t like and don’t appreciate.’ Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni had a fairly vague explanation. ‘I couldn’t get Pau back in there,’ he said, ‘because of what the line up was.’ But the game revealed everything. Lakers forward Earl Clark posted 20 points, shot a career-high 4 of 5 from three-point range and converted on a layup that gave the tream a 107-104 lead with 32.8 seconds remaining. But that doesn’t account for Antawn Jamison playing in 24 minutes, his 16 points offset by a flurry of blown defensive assignments. That doesn’t account for Metta World Peace sitting the entire fourth quarter after going 1 of 8 from the field. ‘I thought he had a tough night,’ D’Antonu said of World Peace, ‘and Antawn was playing well and they had guys Antawn could guard.’ […] ‘It’s a challenge. It’s a challenge every day,’ Gasol said. ‘I’m challenged every day to keep my calm and keep my peace and not let my emotions take over my words.'”