Lakers Rumors & News Recap: The Bobcats Will See Gasol

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers return to Staples Center tonight after their four-game road trip, where they won two games and lost two. L.A. is looking to get a third straight win against the struggling Bobcats, who are currently in an 11-game slump. The Lakers have an all-time record of 7-8 against the Bobcats with a 5-3 record against Charlotte at Staples Center. L.A. is currently at 11-14.

Gasol is back in action tonight as a Lakers starter. The Lakers went 3-5 without him and 8-9 with him. Gasol didn’t exactly play up to par before he decided to sit games down because of tendinitis on both knees but L.A. needs some power in the center position. Pau is ready to deliver that tonight as he plans to be as explosive as ever.

Even with the added talent, Mike D’Antoni said the recent news about Pau Gasol’s return won’t necessarily change the game plan for tonight’s game. All that will be different are the off the bench and starter options. Although the Bobcats have dropped the last 11 straight games, they are a team that knows how to force turnovers, especially through their full-court press. With the Lakers having a turnover issue recently, this could be a problem.

More injury update news. Steve Nash is looking to return to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup Saturday against the Golden State Warriors if practice goes well this week. If he isn’t able to make it this weekend, the PG will hopefully start on Christmas Day. He has missed 23 games this season after suffering a fractured left fibula on Nov. 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second season game. Jordan Hill has also been out with back spasms the past two games and won’t be playing tonight.

For more on the pregame report, click here.

Charlotte Bobcats (7-16) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (11-14)
7:30 PM PST, December 18, 2012
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC Sports Network
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) 1330 KWKW (Spanish)

Bobcats Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF: Bismack Biyombo
C: Byron Mullens

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Lakers News

It’s Official, Pau Gasol Will Start Tonight [Silver Screen and Roll]

Steve Nash Eyeing Return Saturday Barring Setback [Silver Screen and Roll]

Preview and Chat: The Charlotte Bobcats [Forum Blue and Gold]

Metta Feels Good About Life – and Basketball [Fox Sports]

Pau Gasol to Play Against Charlotte [Inside the Lakers]

The Lakers Have Missed Pau Gasol [LA Times]

Lakers-Bobcats What to Watch [ESPN]

Report: Steve Nash Targeting Saturday for Return to Lakers [ProBasketballTalk]

Dark Days might Be Near End for Lakers [OC Register]

Pau Gasol Could See More Facilitating, Less Scoring When He Returns [Lakers Blog]

Pau Gasol, Steve Nash Practice [ESPN]

Dec. 17 Injury Update: Steve Nash [Lakers Blog]

Steve Nash Says He Will “most Likely” Return Christmas Day vs. Knicks [Inside the Lakers]

Preview: Bobcats vs Lakers [Purple and Gold Blog]

Gasol Ready, Christmas for Nash [Hang Time Blog]

Van Gundy Praises Clippers, Says Lakers ‘Not Together’ [OC Register]

Andrew Bynum Should’ve Spoken About Lakers Last Year [USA Today]

Kobe’s Ego is Lakers’ Big Problem [Fox Sports]

Nash Explains the Lakers’ Struggles in D’Antoni’s System [ESPN]

Video: Watch Kobe Rack Up Points in Philly in “Phantom” Slo-Mo [ProBasketballTalk]

NBA News

Nets Happy to Have Lopez Back [Hang Time Blog]

Jrue Holiday Likely Out, What Sixers Really Need is Free Throws [ProBasketballTalk]

NBA Power Rankings Week 8 [Fox Sports]

Comparing OKC to the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons [SB Nation]

Glen Davis Isn’t Trying to Argue With You, Man [Ball Don’t Lie]

Watch Out Diddy — Shaq Launching His Own Line of Vodka [ProBasketballTalk]

Keep Rubio Benched for Now [Hang Time Blog]

Jeremy Lin Officially a Villain in NY [Fox Sports]

Slumping Deron Williams Throws Some Blame Toward Nets System [ProBasketballTalk]

Ten Biggest Surprises of the NBA Season [Fox Sports]

The 10-Man Rotation, Starring J.J. Hickson and the Danger of ‘Development’ [Ball Don’t Lie]

Standing Ovation for Stanley Roberts [Hang Time Blog]

The Saddest Injury Update of All Time [SB Nation]

Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard Out Against OKC [CBS Sports]

Knicks Formally Assign Stoudemire to D-League, But Just For Workouts [ProBasketballTalk]

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Ordered to Pay an Actress a $17.3 Million Settlement Following a Fire at One of His Apartment Complexes (UPDATE) [Ball Don’t Lie]

Thunder Win Early West Showdown With Spurs [Fox Sports]

Best NBA video of season: “A very NBA Christmas” CD [ProBasketballTalk]

Your Gift Guide to 90’s NBA Jerseys [SB Nation]

Lin Shows Knicks What They are Lacking [Hang Time Blog]

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