Pau Gasol has had a rough season for the Los Angeles Lakers and it has cost him. The former All-Star has struggled with a new system, and it has affected his play so much that he will no longer start for the team.
Pau Gasol is out as Lakers’ starter, Mike D’Antoni said. Permanently.
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 22, 2013
In all honesty, this might not be bad for Gasol or the team. Maybe coming off the bench will be the spark that he needs to right the ship. He would give the Lakers a really big boost off the bench, and he would not have to worry about the spacing issues that happen when he is out there with Dwight Howard. That is the one good thing that could happen.
However, this could also go in the complete opposite direction. Gasol could fall into a deeper funk, and his play might become such a detriment that the team could not afford to play him anymore. That is an extreme example but one that will be in play. Benching a guy like Pau could work, but it has a lot of risks. He is of a sensitive nature, so this news can’t have gone over well with him.
This kind of feels like a panic move to me. The Lakers are struggling big time, and the playoffs are almost becoming a pipe dream. The team still has time to make a run, but they need something big to happen soon. This move might be the one they need, but it could also be the kiss of death.