HOUSTON – Never mind the big boy pants. Pau Gasol is going to try some rest for his ailing knees to try to get his game back in shape.
“It was something I didn’t want to think,” Gasol said in the locker room before Tuesday night’s game against the Rockets. “I didn’t want that thought to cross my mind. But it got to the point that I had to face the reality of the situation and evaluate and talk to the trainer and talked to the doctors and made a decision for the good, for the better.”
Gasol said his status will be day-to-day, though he indicated it’s unlikely that he’ll play Wednesday night at New Orleans and even made weekend games at Oklahoma City (Friday) and home against Utah (Sunday) seem doubtful.
“I’m not assuming that it’s gonna be two days and the knee is going to feel wonderful all of a sudden,” he said. “That would be not realistic.”
The Lakers forward has been feeling the effects of tendinitis in both knees since training camp and it has shown in his play. He’s been averaging just 12.6 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the field, both of which are career lows.
“Some of the things have been noticeable,” Gasol said. “I see plays that I just don’t get to or don’t finish the way I want to. Those happen a couple of times every game. Those have been frustrating.
“It hasn’t really improved. We just kept it under control and I was hoping that we would see some kind of improvement, some kind of pain relief. But it hasn’t happened, so we had to make a decision.”
His struggles have been a big part of the Lakers disappointing 8-9 start as he’s struggled to fit to the offensive system of new coach Mike D’Antoni.
Gasol said he’s hoping the decision to shut down for now will pay off later in the season.
“Playoff time comes and that’s when we have to deliver, when we have to be evaluated,” he said. “That’s what’s going to determine whether we’ve had a successful year or not. The first month is just an indicator that things have been rough so far.”