NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Do the Los Angeles Lakers Need Pau Gasol?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are finally starting to improve. Unfortunately, the injured Pau Gasol has been left out of the Lakers new winning formula.

When the Lakers starting line up consists of Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Gasol – they tend to lose.

Although it’s a rare thing when Nash, Howard and Gasol are all healthy at the same time, they were just that during the preseason…and they lost six out of six. The big four has played together with Mike D’Antoni as they’re coach just half a dozen times.

Nash hasn’t been able to find a way to get both Howard and Gasol involved. If Nash can’t find a way, it’s hard to believe that it can be done.

Now that the defence is finally starting to improve, Mike D’Antoni would be a fool to re-adjust the lineup to include Gasol, especially when the Lakers are sitting at 17-21.

Bryant has taken on a much larger defensive position in the last two Lakers games. Both games resulted in wins. Howard has finally got his explosive and aggressive groove back.

On Wednesday night, Howard and Bryant scored 31 points each. Nash distributed almost perfectly. Bryant provided defence in the backcourt, and Howard in the front.

Gasol is indeed obsolete in the Lakers lineup. It’s not that Gasol is inconsistent or no longer a top power forward, it’s just that the Lakers coaching staff can’t figure out how to use him in conjunction with the rest of the Lakers starting lineup.

If Gasol ends up in the sixth man position, which could very likely occur when he returns from his concussion, his immense talents will be underused.

Although Gasol insists that he won’t pursue a trade before the nearing trade deadline, it might be in his best interest to reconsider his position on that.  He’s the odd man out.