The former All-Star was benched late in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 106-98 loss at Memphis, scoring in single figures for the second-straight game and looking out of sorts in the team's new offense under Mike D'Antoni.
Pau Gasol was barely a factor during his team's fourth consecutive road loss of the season Friday night, scoring just six points on 3 of 8 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies. Even more noteworthy was the fact that head coach Mike D'Antoni chose to sit the former All-Star late in the game in favor of Antawn Jamison.
From Lakers beat writer Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:
Pau made clear he'd like more opportunities in the post under D'Antoni, not just jumpers.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) November 24, 2012
Gasol struggled to find any rhythm on offense and settled for jump shots while collecting just four rebounds. D'Antoni pulled him late in the game and played him for only 27 minutes overall. It's his second straight game failing to score in double figures and he has looked out of sorts in the new fast-paced offense. In the 113-97 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, he notched just eight points and was 3 for 10 from the field.
D'Antoni revealed another reason for Friday's late-game lineup change:
Asked DAntoni what the thinking was on not putting Pau back in when Jamison fouled out in crunch time? He said "I'd like to win this game"— ramonashelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 24, 2012
In order to get Gasol more involved, the Lakers' coaching staff needs to make an effort to get him integrated into D'Antoni's system. The Lakers aren't paying Gasol $19 million to be a role player, so getting him more involved as a scorer is a must.