Pau Gasol will miss his second straight game on Sunday while still battling an upper respiratory infection, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters at shootaround.
Gasol will miss three games in total with the ailment, which kept him out of L.A.’s loss to the Warriors eight days ago. He tried to play through it in contests at Phoenix and at home against Miami, with mixed results. Gasol logged just 10 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes against the Suns, but finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes against the Heat on Christmas Day.
Chris Kaman got the start in Gasol’s absence on Friday against the Jazz, and played well, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in 30 minutes of action. He has struggled, however, to gain D’Antoni’s trust for whatever reason, and the coach told reporters that Jordan Hill will likely start in Kaman’s place on Sunday against the Sixers.
The Lakers are currently riding a four-game losing streak, their longest of the young season. D’Antoni said he expects Gasol back in the lineup for the team’s next game on Tuesday in Milwaukee against the Bucks.
Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.