Mike D'Antoni will continue to play Pau Gasol as a starter once he returns from taking time off to deal with tendinitis in both of his knees. For now, at least.
Earlier in the week Mike Bresnahan reported that the Los Angeles Lakers were considering
demoting sending Pau Gasol to the bench to play a sixth man role, freeing up the post for the big man and giving the Lakers an anchor to help guide the second unit. Before any of that becomes reality, however, Pau will be re-evaluated prior to the Lakers match-up Tuesday evening in Cleveland. When the tendinitis is eventually subdued enough for him to resume playing, he will maintain his role as a starter, reports Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch.
"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." - Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times
It remains difficult to gauge how the Lakers' pieces fit while Steve Nash continues to miss time (who is making progress as of late) and Pau Gasol has been dealing with tendinitis in both of his knees, but whether or not these two coming back fully healthy can solve the woes the Lakers have faced to start the season (now 9-12) remains to be seen.
Updates on the Sir Spaniard as they come. Expect an update in the next 48 hours on how the knees are improving with the extended rest and treatment.