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Lakers vs. Bulls preview: Pau Gasol's return

Pau Gasol is back in town.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol is back in Los Angeles. No, he isn't a Laker, but he'll be facing the purple and gold in L.A. for the first time since joining the Chicago Bulls, and Staples Center plans on playing a tribute video for him during the game. Losing Kobe Bryant for the year stings, and Pau Gasol's return is somewhat bittersweet considering the circumstances.

All things must come to an end, though, besides the Lakers losing streak. The nine-game skid is on schedule to get worse as the Lakers play their final home game before hitting the road for four games during the annual Grammy road trip. Sunday at Madison Square Garden somehow devolved from the Kobe, Phil and Fisher Triangle reunion to a game with huge tanking implications.

Byron Scott is spreading his wings and allowing Jordan Clarkson an opportunity to develop at point guard. Whether or not he can develop in this kind of role, on this kind of team, remains to be seen. Clarkson has show some tangible NBA-level talents, but we've got an entire season to feel out what he can bring to the table. Tarik Black has emerged as another prospect to keep an eye on, especially with the Lakers' depth of mid-to-low tier big men.

Enjoy the warm welcome Los Angeles will give Pau Gasol, if nothing else.

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

Station: TNT