Pau Gasol will miss his third consecutive game on Friday when he misses the final game of the Lakers' three-game road trip in Oklahoma City. Gasol has been dealing with knee tendinitis for much of the season and it finally forced him to the bench this week.
Pau Gasol will not play Friday against the Thunder, per the Lakers. Still sitting with knee tendinitis— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 7, 2012
In Gasol's absence, the Lakers lost to the Rockets in dramatic fashion, blowing a 17-point lead, before bouncing back with a 103-87 win over the Hornets. Gasol's time on the sideline has coincided with Steve Nash's, who is sill out, and leaves the Lakers without two of their best players.
Gasol hasn't looked like one of the Lakers' best players or one of the best big men in the league this year, though. He is averaging a career low 12.6 points per game and just 8.8 rebounds. Some of that could be attributed to the knee tendinitis, but some of that is also his inability to fit into the LA offense and team. Gasol's struggles have been a popular topic of conversation in Los Angeles and has made him the topic of trade talks, although the Lakers are reportedly holding off on trading him, for now.
Despite his disappointing play, the Lakers could use the Spaniard back for the upcoming stretch of games. They play the Thunder to cap a three-game road trip before heading home for just one game, then they are back on the road for four more games on the east coast.
This post originally appeared on SB Nation LA.