Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol Expected to Start Upon Return

Dec 7, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) watches against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the media’s rapid overreaction to Pau Gasol’s inability to fit into the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense thus far this season, while tending to a case of old age, head coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t buying that this team, as currently constructed, can’t compete.

According to ESPN Los Angeles, D’Antoni will not use Gasol in a Sixth Man role upon his return to the team:

“I’m not going to mess with Pau,” D’Antoni said. “He’s too important to the team and he’s earned it and he’s too good of a player to even go there. That would be a last resort kind of desperate (move).”

The Lakers lost their four of their last five games and haven’t had Gasol in the lineup for the previous four contests.

For more NBA news, follow Raj on Twitter: @RajPrashad

Topics: Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol

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