D'Antoni: Pau's impact will be in the playoffs by the time he returns [UPDATED]

USA TODAY Sports

Mike D'Antoni says that by the time Pau Gasol returns the Lakers playoff chances will already be sealed.

**[UPDATE: An earlier version of this report inaccurately stated that Pau Gasol will miss the remainder of the regular season. Mike D'Antoni did not provide an updated timetable on Pau Gasol's health. Updated at 11:30 a.m. EST]**

Pau Gasol continues to recover from the plantar fascia tear he suffered a few weeks ago, and Mike D'Antoni believes by the time Gasol returns whether the Los Angeles Lakers will, or won't, make the playoffs will already be decided. His impact will be in the playoffs by the time he returns, as the season will already be down to the last few games, via Mark Medina of Daily News:

"By the time he gets back, we'll be in or out," D'Antoni said. "His impact will be in the playoffs if we get there."

D'Antoni has adjusted to Pau's absence by shortening his rotation to eight guys. Over the past week, the starters have been playing at least 30 minutes a game while Steve Blake, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks have each been getting around 20 minutes a night.

D'Antoni has always been a short rotation kind of guy and he seems to be comfortable with the Meeks, Blake and Jamison trio as his key rotation players. And with the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, you should get used to this eight man unit, because they'll be the ones responsible if the Lakers are able to sneak into the post-season.

That said, if the Lakers end up caving and sign a big, everybody is down with bringing back D.J. Mbenga, right? Here's the thing about D.J.: He's got championship experience and he could probably turn Sacre's bench karate chops into lethal weapons with his judo background and all.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver Screen and Roll

You must be a member of Silver Screen and Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Screen and Roll. You should read them.

Join Silver Screen and Roll

You must be a member of Silver Screen and Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Screen and Roll. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker