(NEW YORK) — Even though he’s struggled to pick up new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and despite an injury, Pau Gasol will continue to start for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, who came into the season with tons of hype and expectations, are just 9-12 so far this season. One of the reasons the team has struggled is due to the poor play of forward Gasol. The 32-year-old Gasol hasn’t played in over a week due to knee tendonitis, and some thought the team would bring him off the bench when he returned. D’Antoni shot that idea down.
“Not yet, that’s not what we need to be doing now,” D’Antoni told ESPNLA.com when asked about a sixth man role for Gasol. “We need to find him and Steve (Nash) in there together and look at it and make a good assessment. I envision him being really good at what he does at the four, so I don’t see that.”
Gasol’s fifth full season with the Lakers has been his least successful so far. He’s averaging just 12.6 points per game, which would be a career low.
Gasol hasn’t come off the bench in a game since the 2004-2005 season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio.
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN