When the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the lowly Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon, there was one positive to take from the deflating defeat: Pau Gasol had his highest scoring game of the season with 25 points – one of his best performances under Mike D’Antoni.
The offensive breakout, however, didn’t win over the troubled coach. In fact, it prompted him to announce the demotion of Gasol to the bench on Monday, in favor of Earl Clark.
The news didn’t go over so well to many in the media, including a miffed Jalen Rose, who didn’t understand the logic behind the move:
The decision to bring the power forward off the bench is confusing not only because he is simply on another level compared to Clark in terms of skill , but also because of what it does to the value of Gasol should the team seek for a trade, as noted by Bill Simmons:
As promised, Gasol came off the bench against the Chicago Bulls on Monday and put up a solid 15 points and 12 rebounds. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop the Lakers from dropping another game – their ninth loss in the last 11 games.