The Los Angeles Lakers greatly struggled against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, losing 116-95 to their greatest rival. They were without Pau Gasol for the contest, as the club recently announced the Spaniard tore the plantar fascia in his right foot and will be out for six to eight weeks.
It’s clear that there is a special dynamic that only the 32-year-old PF can bring to the lineup, but the Lakers brass is being mightily stubborn by not exploring various free-agent options during Gasol’s extended absence.
According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, the organization is reluctant to use the $1.7 million disabled player exception it received after Jordan Hill went down for the season, as the belief is that a new face will only complicate the team’s tenuous chemistry further.
There’s also the issue of coach Mike D’Antoni trying to shy away from post basketball, even though it’s readily apparent that his aging roster isn’t capable of running and gunning like the Knicks or Suns were.
It would be absolutely insane for the two not to at least discuss the possibility of bringing in a big man to help soften the blow of Gasol’s injury over the next two months.
Whether it’s bringing in a proven veteran like Kenyon Martin or a high-upside D-Leaguer, it would behoove the franchise to make a signing sooner rather than later. At 23-27, time is running out for the Lakers to make a postseason run.
Kupchak and D’Antoni need to exhaust all options and leave no stone unturned in their quest to replace Gasol with a short-term fix. There’s just no way the Lake Show can afford to get blown out in any more contests if the playoffs are going to be in their future.
What should L.A. do?
I think L.A.'s kind of seeing how much we miss Pau and what he brings to the table in his skill set. Maybe now they'll start appreciating him a little bit more.
While he’s certainly being missed, Gasol definitely needs to be replaced in the meantime if the Lakers are going to contend for a championship.