Could the Lakers’ dynamic power forward be back as early as next week when the Lakers will face off against the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night? All signs are pointing to yes. Gasol has been running, shooting and competing in other basketball related drills without pain from the tendinitis in his knees that has hindered the 7-footer all season.
Gasol has managed to miss the last 7 games due to his knee issues and the Lakers could really use any help they can get out of the skilled big man from Spain. Although Gasol and newly installed Lakers’ head coach, Mike D’Antoni, didn’t exactly look to be 100% on the same page during Gasol’s short time spent in the D’Antoni system, the idea that a player as great as Pau wouldn’t positively effect this struggling team is still hard to believe.
Per Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:
“Pau Gasol got back on the court today for the first time in two weeks and successfully went through 90 minutes of running, shooting and other individual basketball drills.”
“He told me yesterday that he had graduated to basically no pain from the tendinitis in his knees during three days on the treadmill. Now he didn’t have any problems advancing to on-court work today.”
“The next step will be seeing how his knees feel tomorrow after the stress of today. If things go well, Gasol could be back for the Lakers’ home game against Charlotte on Tuesday — with the next game after that not till Saturday at Golden State.”
Something has got to give if the Lakers are to salvage the season and make a playoff run. The west is unforgiving and it’s easy to be left behind if you can’t get it together and compete quickly.
Of course, getting Steve Nash back to feed their pick-n-roll system might be the missing ingredient that the Lake-Show is missing, but Gasol back and healthy as soon as possible can’t hurt.
The Lakers 10-14 (5-9 under D’Antoni) and the time for a change from losing to winning has to come now. With names like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash headlining your roster, anything under .500 seems like an epic failure.