Before the Lakers tipped off against the Phoenix Suns last night, they were still dealing with internal problems. Pau Gasol wasn’t happy with his benching in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 111-106 win over the New Orleans Hornets and voiced his displeasure. This was the fourth time that Gasol had been benched in the fourth quarter and he still isn’t sure why it is happening.
Pau had said that if they found a winning formula, he didn’t care what the rotation looked like. He was upset because the team was losing and he couldn’t do anything about it riding the bench. Well, the Lakers won three in a row going into last night’s game, but Pau was still voicing his unhappiness.
While Lakers’ fans might be tired of hearing from Pau, they aren’t the only ones. Coach Mike D’Antoni let Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com in on the fact that he has heard about enough from his seven-foot former All-Star even going as far to poke fun at the fact that players promised silence if they began to win with his rotations.
“Well, you know, ‘all for one’ didn’t last (very) long, did it?” D’Antoni said. “Forty-eight-hour shelf life. That’s not bad. We’ll take what we can get.” He continued to explain his thought process behind the fourth quarter rotation of the Hornets game by referencing Metta World Peace’s lack of an appearance. “”Metta didn’t play, either. So, you try to win the game. I thought Antawn (Jamison) was playing well and I thought the matchups were Ryan Anderson and three little guys.”
Pau did play significant minutes in Wednesday’s loss the the Phoenix Suns. He posted 14 points and four rebounds in 37 minutes of action, but Dwight Howard left with 6:57 remaining in the fourth quarter. Fans can only wonder if Pau would have been pulled from the game had Dwight been healthy. And now if Dwight Howard is going to miss a significant amount of games with his re-injured shoulder, will Pau Gasol step up and let his playing do the talking?