Last night, Pau Gasol saw his first action in five games coming off the bench in an unfamiliar role for the Lakers center. Gasol, who scored 12 points in 25 minutes of play in the Lakers loss to the Heat, was asked after the game how he felt about not starting.
“I’ve been a starter my entire career. I think this is my first games as a Laker, coming from the bench,” said Gasol. “It’s not something that I would enjoy I think.”
When asked if he would be open to coming off the bench going forward?
“Probably not,” answered Gasol.
Also, Gasol expressed his expectation that he’s on the floor in the final minutes.
“I would always like to finish games. I think the most determined players, important players finish games,” said Gasol after the defeat. “When the games are on the line, you need to have the best players on the floor.”
The Lakers have some of the best frontcourt talent in the league in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, but it’s up to coach Mike D’Antoni to figure out the best way to cohesively utilize them. Although the Lakers have been plagued with injuries it seems as if managing that talent so far has been a struggle for him.
The Lakers played Miami very well last night, and even though they lost they should be proud of their effort and intensity. If the Lakers continue to play the way they did they have the opportunity to turn this season around and make a good push for the playoffs, but it all starts with coaching because what good is talent without someone who knows how to properly manage it. I can’t help but wonder how the Zen Master would’ve handled this team, or if Gasol’s days with the Lakers are numbered.