Pau Gasol Kobe Bryant

When Pau Gasol returns he will start, D’Antoni said


Pau Gasol has been out more than a week with a concussion. Kobe Bryant is a little frustrated with him for showing up to practices and games, wants Gasol to sit at home in a dark room and recover. Instead Gasol has been on the bench cheering teammates.

That includes the last two games, when the Lakers seem to have found a groove with Dwight Howard looking far more healthy and active, the defense improving and the Lakers picking up easy wins. Wins that came with Earl Clark starting in Gasol’s spot and adding some needed athleticism and energy.

But when Gasol is healthy he starts again Mike D’Antoni said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Gasol won’t come off the bench when he returns, Coach Mike D’Antoni said Tuesday.

“That would be tough,” D’Antoni said, adding, “That’s not my intention right now.”

Gasol is going to come up in a lot of trade rumors over the next five weeks as we move toward the trade deadline and the Lakers are going to have a decision to make. That decision will depend a lot on the offers that come in — a 32-year-old who missed 8 games with knee tendonitis and whose numbers are down is not at the peak of his trade value. Teams are going to lowball what they see as a Lakers team desperate to move Gasol.

But the Lakers aren’t going to give him away and they are not going to take on a contract that messes with their plan for cap space in 2014. All of which makes putting a deal together all the more difficult.

So for now D’Antoni has to figure out how to use Gasol and make him fit. And where he fits at first is as a starter.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.

Bradley Beal drives around, dunks over Kristaps Porzingis (VIDEO)

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If you’re a Knicks fan, the positive is that at least Kristaps Porzingis tried to make a play.

But he was not going to stop the athletic Bradley Beal with a full head of steam, and the result was a Beal dunking over Porzingis as he tries to block the attempt.

Beal wasn’t sharp, scoring 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. The Knicks has an efficient Carmelo Anthony and that got them the win.