SH Blog: Gasol, benched again in 4th, won’t request trade; Nowitzki to start

It’s no secret that Pau Gasol has gone through some frustrating times this season in LA.

With the trade deadline approaching – February 21st at 3:00 PM Eastern, to be exact – it’s likely that Gasol will continue to hear his name in the rumor mill until after the deadline passes.

And if the Lakers and he continue to have tough nights, like they did last night against the same-city rival Clippers, you can expect those trade winds to pick up ever so quickly. From Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

After he endured his fourth benching in the fourth quarter since Mike D’Antoni was hired as coach, there is no denying Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol is having a hard time fitting in with the team he once helped win two championships. The Lakers ultimately could decide they just can’t make it work with the former four-time All-Star; however, it won’t be Gasol pushing his way out of town. “No, oh, that’s radical,” Gasol said when asked whether he would request a trade following the Lakers’ 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. “I still believe. I still have faith in what we have. I still have faith that I can be a big part in helping this team succeed. Right now, I’m not being able to do that very often.”

Other news from around the NBA:

Dirk Nowitzki is officially making his first start of the season against the New Orleans Hornets tonight, via Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas: “After missing 27 games while recovering from preseason arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Nowitzki came off the bench in his first six appearances of the season. He practiced with the Mavs’ starters for the first time Friday, a couple days after setting season highs with 19 points in 29 minutes during an overtime loss to the Miami Heat. ‘I felt like the best I’ve felt out there,’ Nowitzki said Friday. ‘I don’t think the wind is a big deal or wasn’t the last couple of games. It’s more the legs and the explosiveness and the push-off and switching directions. So that was the major problem I thought the last ten days I’ve been back, or whatever.'”

Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat are acutely aware that rebounding is a huge problem for them right now:

After Heat gets outrebounded by 20 in loss to Bulls, Bosh on woes: “It’s killing us. Plain and simple.”
Michael Wallace

Here’s an interesting take on the “Rudy Gay Dilemma,” that we reported about earlier today.

This, via Zach Lowe at Grantland: “A lot has changed since the Grizzlies started the season scoring at a top-10 rate and looking like a legitimate title contender. Their offense has stalled out, falling to 19th in points per 100 possessions, and three other Western Conference contenders — the Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder — have settled in at a slightly higher level than Memphis.


  1. George Y says

    Long question coming up. This current Laker team is a mess and going nowhere with the current roster. All memory of Phil has been erased from the franchise except for one key holdover, Kobe.

    The man is owed nearly $60 million(this year and next). Send Kobe and J. Hill to Chicago for Boozer, Deng, Hamilton and the protected Charlotte pick. Follow the above move with a proposal of Gasol, Morris, and the attained Charlotte pick for Minnesota’s injured star Kevin Love and backup guard Barea. All of the money matches in the proposed deals.

    LA needs new blood now that the Kobe/Phil era is over(it has been over for the last 3 years). This may be the best way to salvage this wasted season of Bryant’s excellence, Howard’s unpredictability, and Nash’s adjustment to not having control of an offense.

    As a Bulls fan I wouldn’t mind seeing Rose and Bryant share a backcourt for 100+ regular season games and some playoff games. It would also be nice to have an expiring contract of $30 million to work with in the summer of 2014.

  2. Alek Samm says

    Of course Gasol says he doesn’t want a trade. He doesn’t want to go back to the days of being a Grizzlie where he was tasked with carrying a team because that’s too much like work. Dude is a loafer, lazy, and stat-padder and often times does just enough to not get criticized by his peers and the press.

    As much as people say Nash can’t guard anyone, he’s a decent team defender whilst whenever Gasol is in the game on defense the opposing team treats the lane like a runway because he doesn’t intimidate whatsoever. Tired of the guy quite honestly. When we lost in 08 I wanted them to trade him then but he somewhat came through in the following two years, again doing enough to make it look like he’s putting effort in but in reality, doing just enough while doing absolutely zero on conditioning his body (that’s why he gets gassed so easily).

    But when the Lakers were swept in the playoffs by the Mavs, that should’ve been his ouster right there. The fact that he was given not one but yet another season after that all while he constantly doesn’t stay consistently motivated (and has a general lack of heart to boot) is confusing to say the least.

    I can only hope the Lakers wake up from their apparent love affair with Gasol and face reality. He’s not a Kareem-type that can play till he’s 40 so they may as well try and get some fresh/young players to work with to build us a better bench while he still has some value.

    Don’t get me wrong. Gasol, when he’s “on” and motivated, he’s every bit the All-Star that people label him as. Unfortunately, you never know which Gasol you’re going to get on a nightly basis. Check that, you do know which one you’ll get. It all depends on who he has to guard and who has to guard him. If it’s someone that will play him hard, he will usually crack/crumble under the assault. On offense, if he can’t fairly easily score on the man guarding him (which isn’t anyone who bodies him up), we get one of those 3-for 12 nights out of him.

  3. says

    Gasol represents the least of the Lakers’ problems, and they should stop shopping him at every trade deadline. He’s a capable rebounder, shooter…and would have been a mice complement to Dwight Howard. Well, the Dwight Howard that we saw up until this year. Get Steve Nash to run the offense (that’s what they got him for, right?), and get some intensity on defense. They should start there.

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