Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol listed as day-to-day with bone bruise on knee

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The MRI results are in and Pau Gasol has a bone bruise and is now listed as day-to-day, the team reports.

Gasol is expected to be at Lakers shootaround Tuesday before the team takes on Utah and his status for that night will be determined then. The Lakers also play at Golden State Wednesday and at Portland Friday.

Gasol injured his knee in the third quarter Sunday against Denver, going up for a dunk where he was fouled by Nene and landed awkwardly. Gasol left the game soon after and went to the locker room, but returned and played the fourth quarter.

Look for the Lakers to be cautious here, they need Gasol at 100 percent for the playoffs and they don’t want this to linger. Don’t be shocked if he misses at least a couple of games, maybe more.

Andrew Bynum also tweaked his knee in Sunday’s game but practiced fully on Monday and will play Tuesday night.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.