Pau Gasol only sugarcoats his churros.
When it comes to the state of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, he offers no abridged, kindhearted or delusional analysis. He tells it like it is. And right now, it's bad.
Following Los Angeles' 110-103 loss Sunday afternoon to the New York Knicks, Gasol said as much, eviscerating his team's playoff chances while holding back absolutely nothing.
From Brett Pollakoff of NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk, as translated by HoopsHype:
The playoffs are a utopia right now. (…) The Western Conference has a lot of great teams that are playing much better than us right now. (…) If things don’t change very quickly, I don’t know if we will have many chances.
Chances of the Lakers making a postseason run are diminishing by the day, if they even still exist.
At 16-29, they're 9.5 games back of the Western Conference's final playoff spot. In the Eastern Conference, where awful rules (almost) all, that's an erasable deficit with 37 games to play. Out West, where powerhouses are about as rare as red on an Elmo costume, it's near impossible.
Actually, let's just call it what it is: impossible.
The Lakers aren't going to make the playoffs. They rank 22nd and 27th in offensive and defensive efficiency, respectively, and they have showed no signs of turning things around or establishing an identity.
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding says the Lakers don't expect Kobe Bryant back anytime soon, either. When he finally does return, it's both unfair and unrealistic to expect him, aged 35 and recovering from two serious injuries, to come bearing miracles.
That's not even taking the rest of Los Angeles' injuries into account. Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry are all still spectators at this point, and the Steve Nash saga reaches new levels of tragic each day:
"It's not about 'giving good effort,'" Bryant said of his Lakers after Gasol took his teammates to task following their loss to the Orlando Magic, per the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan. "It's about winning championships."
There are no championships to be won by the Lakers this season. Not unless you count the draft lottery as a championship.
Gasol, unlike Bryant, appears to know this and has accepted the Lakers for what they are: shallow, broken and so bad that a postseason berth has become a mythical Arcadia they'll never find.