Let’s not forget about our pillar of consistency, Gasol, who without a legitimate backup at center is raking up minutes, averaging over 45-plus per game over the last three. The Lakers inability or indifference, depending on how you look at it, to acquire another big body in the interim while Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff continue to recover from their respective injuries has left the Spaniard fatigued. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Gasol looks gassed, his eight-point and nine rebounds should be indicative of that. His quick trip to the locker room to get his previously-plagued hamstrings worked on only added to the list of Lakers worries.
The return of Bynum was thought to be a quick fix for whatever defensive struggles the Lakers had, but even his new time-table is accurate, he probably won’t be in full effect until four to six weeks from now. In the meantime, the Lakers will have to play better all-around basketball.
“Whatever we’re going through is probably good for us,” offered Odom. “It’s good to be humbled and more down to earth and understand that we can lose games if we don’t play basketball the right way.”