Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Pau Gasol says playoffs ‘are a utopia right now’ for Lakers


From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

uto·pia (noun) \yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə\ :  an imaginary and indefinitely remote place.

Pau Gasol has been a bit more vocal as of late on the topic of the Lakers’ recent struggles, even going so far as to throw a tantrum in front of teammates and Kobe Bryant in the locker room following an especially unpleasant loss to the Orlando Magic.

Speaking to reporters in Spanish following the loss to the Knicks in New York on Sunday, Gasol continued to deliver some honest commentary about the fortunes of his team moving forward, and obviously the future isn’t exactly bright.

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.

Gasol isn’t giving up, and he isn’t painting an unnecessarily gloomy image in hopes that all of the constant trade rumors that swirl around him might some day come to fruition.

He’s speaking the truth.

The Lakers are currently 13 games under .500, and nine and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the West, with four teams ahead of them before we even get there. It’s honestly easier and more accurate to refer to L.A. as being just two teams away from being the worst in the Conference — something Gasol knows all too well, and isn’t afraid to articulate in another language.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.