Mike D’Antoni Explains Why Pau Gasol Was Benched in Fourth

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their fourth consecutive road game Friday night in Memphis, continuing with their winless streak outside of Staples Center.

The Lakers had a chance to win the game down the stretch, but they could not make the right plays on offense or defense. Kobe Bryant was doing what he could to keep the Lakers in the game, but Pau Gasol was not contributing to the team at all. That is because, well, he was sitting on the bench.

After the game, Mike D’Antoni spoke to the media and Kevin Ding of the OC Register tweeted what the coach said was his reasoning for benching his star forward.

Gasol finished the game with just six points on eight shot attempts, a plus/minus of -23 and only four rebounds. Gasol’s backcourt mate, Dwight Howard, had a poor game as well as he only scored seven bounds and grabbed a mere four rebounds.

The Lakers need better effort from their big men in order to win games and the coaching staff is hoping its benching of Gasol in the fourth will fuel him to play better Sunday against Dallas.

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