5 LA Lakers Players Who Must Step Up with Pau Gasol Injured

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5 LA Lakers Players Who Must Step Up with Pau Gasol Injured
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

According to a report via Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, All-Star power forward Pau Gasol will miss the Los Angeles Lakers' December 4 game against the Houston Rockets. The ailment comes by virtue of tendinitis in both of Gasol's knees and could result in his missing an extended period of time.

So which Lakers players must step up with Gasol injured?

Head coach Mike D'Antoni offered insight into the injury and how it has impacted Gasol's early-season contributions. He also noted that it is irrelevant how long Gasol is absent, as long as he is able to return at full strength.

Playing injured just isn't an option.

"The biggest thing with him was that he was playing hurt and in this league you just can't do that," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I just didn't think he was running fluidly."

"We got to get him healthy," D'Antoni said. "Whatever it takes -- one game, two games, 10 games -- I don't know. It's day to day but he's got to be healthy. It wasn't fair [to him]. He's trying to battle through some stuff and in this league, you just can't do that."

Who will shine in Gasol's absence? More importantly, who must fill his void with a higher-than-normal level of performance?

The following slides will answer just that.

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