Pau Gasol won’t play in Lakers-Jazz preseason game
The Lakers are about to make another change to their starting lineup.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol will sit out of tonight’s preseason game against the Utah Jazz at Honda Center, while reserve veteran forward Antawn Jamison will start in his place. The reason had nothing to do with injuries.
“He’s had a long summer so I’m going to give him a little rest,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said of Gasol. “He looks a little fatigued.”
Gasol spent this past offseason playing in the 2012 London Olympics, where he led the Spanish national team to a silver-medal finish, behind Team USA. Through three preseason games, Gasol has averaged 9.3 points on 37.9% shooting in 25.3 minutes. Gasol has appeared fluid in running the Lakers’ new offense that includes elements of the Princeton system. But in the past two games, Gasol has shot only a combined seven-of-22 from the field.
The Lakers have tinkered plenty with their lineup during training camp.
When Kobe Bryant missed one game because of an injured right shoulder, reserve Jodie Meeks took his place. Lakers second-round draft pick Robert Sacre will make his fourth consecutive start, while Dwight Howard rehabs from back surgery. And Lakers forward Jordan Hill said he should be reevaluated sometime this week after suffering a herniated disk eight days ago.
Jamison, whom the Lakers signed to the veteran’s minimum this summer, has averaged only 5.3 points on 33.3% shooting off the bench.
“It’s a process as far as getting your feet underneath you and situated and confident with the offense and defensive schemes,” Jamison said. “I’m the type of person that once I get that under my belt, I’m all right.”
Brown hardly sounded concerned about his comfort level. Brown said Jamison has had a head start in learning similar concepts since he played for both Brown, with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2010), and for assistant coach Eddie Jordan, with the Washington Wizards (2004-08). Teammates have touted Jamison’s improved shooting stroke emerging this past week in practice.
“He’s a pro, a great guy, very intelligent and very versatile,” Brown said. “He told me during shootaround that I’m starting to feel better out on the floor.”
Meanwhile, Brown plans to shuffle the backup point guard spot again.
Darius Morris assumed most of the playing time in the Lakers’ loss Saturday to Utah, in which he displayed a mix of solid playmaking and forced plays in a two-point effort, on one-of-six shooting, and four assists in 19 minutes.
Brown said most the playing time tonight will be split between Steve Blake and Chris Duhon, both whom missed the last game entirely. That deviates from Brown’s original plan to give some time to second-year guard Andrew Goudelock. This time, Brown said Morris and Goudelock’s only playing time would come toward the end of the game, though he provided no guarantees.
With the Lakers having five remaining preseason games, will Brown rest other starters, too?
“We’ll see,” Brown said. “It’s a game-to-game basis. So we’ll see how time goes on.”
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