The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their fourth loss in six games on Sunday night falling to Orlando Magic at Staples Center. After the dominant offensive performance against the Denver Nuggets two nights earlier, the consensus was that the new-look Lakers may have finally turned a corner with everyone getting involved and the offense flowing from start to finish.
Unfortunately, the Lakers have a tendency to be a streaky basketball team with no consistency from game to game. One night the Lakers appear to be a legitimate NBA title contender with a bright future and the next is seems to be back to square one.
One player that has received more criticism than any under new head coach Mike D’Antoni is two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol. The trade rumors have kicked into high gear once again with Gasol as the centerpiece with talk of the Spaniard simply not fitting in D’Antoni’s offense.
In the loss to the Magic on Sunday, Gasol scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds while hitting only four out of 11 shots from the floor. The veteran forward only played 29 minutes against Orlando and has begun to rub teammate Kobe Bryant the wrong way.
Kobe made the following comments about Gasol following the loss to the Magic via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“Put your big-boy pants on,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ 113-103 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday that dropped the team’s record to 8-9. “Just adjust. Just adjust. You can’t whine about it. You can’t complain about it.”
The frustration continues to mount for Kobe and company with Gasol possibly being the first to be sent packing if things don’t turnaround quickly. Gasol has recently been mentioned in a few trade rumors that the Lakers’ front office might be exploring.
The most recent rumor involves forward Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets. There’s been no details of how the deal would ultimately go down, but Anderson seems to fit the mold of D’Antoni’s style and may be an option for the Lakers heading towards the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 21, 2013.