That's not to say what L.A. has done is a simple task. The temptation to rush Gasol back to the lineup must be at an all-time high.
Morris only played 17 minutes (mostly giving way to Jodie Meeks), and Sacre, who has spent most of the season either dancing on the bench or playing defense for the L.A. D-Fenders in the NBDL, played decently in 28 minutes of action.
But it still resulted in an ugly 125-112 loss.
The Lakers are an absolute mess right now, but as the injuries pile up, they are learning that things can, in fact, still get much, much worse.
Therein stands the reason to rush Gasol back. The veteran power forward has suddenly turned into "Marc's brother" this season with painfully inconsistent, sub-par (by his standards) play. But there's no question he would still give this team a desperately needed boost of size and depth.
And it's not like professional athletes haven't played through concussions before. Most recently, Matt Slauson of the New York Jets told ESPN that he did just that in "2010 or 2011." (Weirdly, he couldn't remember the exact year.)
It would be easy for the Lakers to just fib a little in order to get their power forward back into the lineup.
But that's clearly not how they are conducting business (via the Orange County Register's Kevin Ding):
I'm also told Pau is expected to play for Lakers on Friday night vs. OKC if he passes his concussion test Thursday. (He didn't pass today.)— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 9, 2013
And that's as simple as it has to be. Pass the necessary test, you play. Don't pass, you sit.
Concussions are no joke. They are certainly less frequent in basketball than they are in football, but they can be just as dangerous, especially down the road in life, if suffered multiple times.
Despite the desperation to get Gasol back in the lineup, it's refreshing to see the Los Angeles Lakers playing by the rules during such a potentially serious situation.