Lakers’ Woes Still Not Pau Gasol’s Fault


Evidence continued to mount Thursday night in Boston that just maybe Pau Gasol isn’t the cause of all that is wrong in the Lakers universe and that dumping him by the side of the road is not the answer. (Unless the trade is for a new focus, a coach who’s system is a better fit, or a playoff-tested power forward with the game and personality to complement stars. Then by all means, dump away.)

The 116-95 loss to the Celtics, with Gasol replacement Earl Clark managing five points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes, was hardly the first reminder that Gasol had unfairly become a convenient target for many angry fans and one coach grasping for solutions. But it was the first update bulletin since news that Gasol would be sidelined a minimum of six to eight weeks with a foot injury, a particularly unwelcome development since he was also the backup to hurting center Dwight Howard and the Lakers had already lost another power forward, Jordan Hill, for the season.

More than anything, though, it was the latest reminder. Gasol has not performed close to a player on the books for $19.29 million, lowlighted by being called out by coach Mike D’Antoni for conditioning issues and then ultimately being pulled from the lineup by D’Antoni in favor of Clark. He is not, though, the primary cause of this 23-27 cleanup on Aisle 4.

The Lakers with Gasol in the lineup: 18-28, a .391 win percentage.

The Lakers without Gasol in the lineup: 5-9, a 357 win percentage.

He has missed eight games in December with tendinitis in both knees (3-5), five in January because of a concussion (2-3) and now the first of many with the torn tissue in the right foot. Some of those were when Steve Nash was sidelined, some were when Howard was recovering. But a Gasol absence has equaled tougher times.

He is not impossible to trade now, if the other team doesn’t see itself as a championship contender this season and rates a Gasol acquisition as a step to get there eventually, but the latest injury makes it very, very difficult to move him. The best-case scenario on the timetable the Lakers announced Thursday after he was examined by a foot specialist is that Gasol is back in late-March, with three, maybe four, weeks to go before the playoffs. If the recovery is more like the two months noted, it’s one week of prep time for the postseason. And if he blows past the minimums entirely, this could turn out to be a season-ending injury.

Clark is expected to remain in the opening lineup and be backed up by Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace, the starter at small forward. That is tonight at Charlotte and probably for what once upon a time would have been a great showdown, Sunday afternoon at Miami. Lakers depth, a fragile concept in the best of times, has taken another hit, one of the keys to comparative success is out six to eight weeks, and the clock is ticking on the playoff hopes.


  1. kobeng Burat!!! says:

    After Gasol??? Now Howard??? Who’s Next??/ NASH???? Metta???? I Ithink It would be Steve Blake this time or clark…. Jodie meeks… Jamison…. When would be kobe’s time???? ” Guys sorry for being such a ballhog… I’m just scared because Howard might take away the limelights”… Everyone knew Mike D’Antoni was useless… I can’t blame him anymore…. Right now it’s howards fault…. and I blame Jack Nicholson too…. Because I say so…. kobe the black mama bryant

  2. yao says:

    trade pau for love or smirth and trade nash for rondo

  3. ChiBlues says:

    Trade him to Charlotte!

    Jordan will love him

  4. ChiBlues says:

    I hardly think of Dwight Howard as the leagues top center. Better off a power forward. This dude is useless in his current situation.

    Kobe is no angel. I think the other night he went 7 of 25 FGs. Perhaps its time to cut the black mamba at his head and get him to play more of a productive role and surround him with other capable scores. He is getting old but everyone is still looking at him like he is the truth… Even celtics P.P. “The Truth” knows the truth in that the tank wont last forever. Trade Howard/World Peace for young capable talent and cut Kobes minutes but no more than 5 and you might have something going for them?

  5. Steffen says:

    Kobe is the only one playing like a Laker on the current team, possibly along with Clark and Metta. The rest are scrubs, altho I would excuse Pau here, since Mike simply has no clue how to use him. I cannot wish for better things then reading soon, that LA have traded Howard to Australia or somewhere fare away from the NBA where he can “entertain” “smile” and be the mediocre player he himself have decided to be. He has no bussiness to be a “star” center in LA. Past centers are rolling over in their beds.

    Fire Mike
    Trade Howard, Clark, Kobe, Pau and Meta if they can get picks and rebuild – ts times, they need a few good prospects once they have matured LA can easily lure a couple of super stars to laker land to complet the championship roster.

  6. KeCe says:

    The reason the lakers have this bad record to me is that Mike D’antoni took away Pau’s game on the block. The offense should go trough him, Kobe and Nash.

    Dwight just does not have his game back since injury and that’s why the coach should make Pau’s value bigger over Dwight’s. Instead he did the opposite… Dwight should not run laker offense. U can`t just throw him the ball for the sake of some “touches”. His value should really start at the defensive end.

    We will see that the lakers without Pau are getting pretty worse. And the evidence will be indelible marked in their record and missing out on the playoffs

  7. Patrickmarc says:

    Howard is not the man Lakers were expecting

  8. Marco says:

    Kobe is handling the ball more than Nash does. It defeats the purpose of getting Nash. They should have thought of this before getting Nash. Nash now has no chance of getting a championship ring. Kobe’s ego is the reason why the Lakers are losing.

  9. bryan says:

    lakers needs to change the coach

  10. Lakers says:

    The dude with the Kobe fetish is back. Talks about Kobe in every single comment! Using those annoying cap locks. Sorry. You’re wrong! Kobe is one of the best!

  11. Granthill33 says:

    I remember a Laker player said they’ll break Bulls’ regular season record and make 73-9. Haha…

  12. Francisco says:


  13. kobeng Burat!!! says:

    I wonder what on their minds now??? 72-10 SUPERTEAM
    Mike Brown ” Told You”
    Phil Jackson ” Your Funeral”
    Mike D’Antoni ” Me again??? When would it become (insert name)fault?”

  14. Dr C.Goode says:

    @ Nick: I agree the injuries haven’t helped but Brown’s princeton offence suited this team far more than D’Antoni’s run and gun 3 point shooting offense especially considering the injuries. Oh well D’Antoni is here to stay for the rest of the season at least, he should be inline for coach of the year if they can make the playoffs.

  15. Eaglos says:

    Lakers have been heading in the wrong direction for quite some time.

    1. They gave away players like Odom, Brown, Turiaf, Sessions, Farnar, Barnes and
    replaced them with worst ones that cannot perform at a steady level.

    2. They traded injury-prone Bynum for injury-prone Howard disregarding the fact
    that Bynum has a greater repertoire in offence than Howard who is limited to dunks
    and open shots below the rim.

    3. They brought Mike Brown who wanted to try something new and experimental
    but at the same time they wanted to compete for the one ring.

    4. They replaced Brown for a mediocre coach, D’ Antoni, with a completely different
    methodology and a clear inability to work with two centers.

    5. They get Nash to be the key player but at the same time they let Kobe rampart so
    Nash cannot do what he does best since Kobe shoots non stop.

    6. Lots and lots of injuries but that is to expected from old and battered veterans or
    injury-prone ones.

    The only good thing is the Clark is showing some talent and he would easily provide
    more points than Howard. As for Gasol, either let him go or change D’ Anton.

    • Patty says:


    • Patty says:






  16. Rob Benjamins says:

    Bad math: Lakers are 18-18 with Gasol, that’s .500 Sir!

  17. Heisenberg says:

    Dwight Howard trades looming. Don’t believe what Mr. Kupchak says. Everyday is a brand new day.

  18. The Spaniard says:

    It`s clear that Pau it`s not the problem, age of the big players, D’antoni is not the better coach, and we must understand that not every year will have the better team now are changing times.

    • Lakersfan4ever says:

      I Agree with everyone to realized what really the problem here is D’Antoni, no one else, well there is Jim Buzz and Mitch K for allowing this to happened, I can believe that we the fans are the onlyones to see it, they already paying Mike brown and D’Antoni and He is not doing his job, just Let Bernie Bickerstaff finish the season, that way we salvage the rest of the season and have a better chance to make the playoffs, Just Make and Excuse on D’Antoni that he will be absent for the rest of the season. GO LAKERS.

      • Patty says:





  19. cruise0719 says:

    FIre the coach now…I agree with Dr C.Goode, Mike Brown could have made the adjustents had he not been fired that early…Mike D.Antoni is not flexible and cannot coach to the strenghts of his team…

  20. Dr C.Goode says:

    Shouldn’t have fired Mike Brown so early, I have a suspicion the Lakers would be just above .500 if they’d kept him and probably heading towards a 50/32 season which is probably good enough for 5th or 6th. A Clippers vs Lakers first round match-up would be great for the league

    • Nick says:

      Everyone seems to forget that under Brown they lost all, yes all, of their pre-season games. At the start of the season they lost another 4 games – before the injuries to Gasol, Nash and Hill! Since D’Antoni’s arrival they’ve been plagued by injuries. No other team would be performing any better if most of their starters and their key reserves were in the same condition…

  21. googergieger says:

    They just aren’t a good team. Good players. Horrible team. Handful of their few victories have been because of the refs. Heck some of their losses happened even with the refs helping them. In any case, there are other teams in the league besides the five you guys constantly keep talking about. Maybe if you did talk about them, more than ten people would watch the all star game.

  22. Buife says:

    ..Mikan, Wilt, Jabbar, Shaq… Great big men for the Lakers. …. Howard is not fit to lace any of their shoes… Biggest disappointment this season ,,,, big shame

  23. Philly is the real Disappointment, not L.A!! says:

    The Lakers are banged up, and have been since pre-season.

    You can’t dominate the court immediately after back surgery. Fans take the “Super Man”label to seriously.

    Pau and Nash have been banged up too, and the L.A bench doesn’t have top tier depth.

    The 76ers are more disappointing then the Lakers. It shows how valuable Iggy really is. Now that Thad Young and J-Rich

    gone, a playoff run looks nearly impossible..

  24. Abueva says:

    obviously D’Antoni is the reason he doesn’t know how to use the talent Lakers have..hiring him was the biggest mistake his system doesn’t work on a talented teams like the Knicks and Lakers i don’t really understand why did they hire him his system is for only a 3point shooting team it really doesn’t fit on talented inside players like pau and howard thats the reason…

  25. Mike´s Fault says:

    Obviously, it was not Pau´s fault

    Mike does not know how to manage this team.
    Also, Dwight is an overrated center.

    • rondo says:

      How can you say Dwight is an overrated center. Even with his injury he still arguably one of the best centers in the NBA.

      • punnyjr says:

        because he cant score imao …

        he can score only when — wide open or Oop …

        he cant shoot the ball at all, his hook is like 30 % chance to go in, he cant play 1 on 1 low post ,

        everyone just foul him when he has wide open and send to score less in FT

      • punnyjr says:

        he can’t score

      • punnyjr says:

        he cant play 1 on 1 low post , he cant shoot the ball , he cant shoot FT ,

        he can only drunk in wide open or Oop but everyone knows they can foul him and send him to score less in FT.

      • John Doe says:

        but only because teams are playing small in lack of a center. As long as Bynum doesn’t get his act together Howard might be one of the best. But he still is a cry baby….

      • NHbleedsGREEN says:

        Only because there are like no more real centers in the league.
        Marc Gasol is the best center in the league hands down.

    • Paul says:

      You’re right. Dwight should be traded in exchange for some real center. They should have got Bynum under control and they’ll be an A team