It was the moment Sunday when Lakers fans saw another title flash before their eyes.
Late in the third quarter Pau Gasol went to the basket for a dunk and got a hard (but clean) foul by Nene.
When Gasol landed and crashed to the floor, his knee bent back awkwardly. He stayed down for a minute, got up and shot free throws, then soon after came out and went to the locker room. He came back out and played the rest of the game without a brace or tape, but the Lakers will not mess around with this. Gasol told the Los Angeles Times he thinks he’ll be fine.
“It allowed me to keep playing, so hopefully it will be nothing,” Gasol said. “There’s some swelling in there.”
Still, the Lakers are giving him an MRI to be sure, with the results expected Monday. Don’t be shocked if he gets a little extra time on the bench over the final 10 days of the season.
Andrew Bynum sat the end of that game after Lamar Odom fell into him and Bynum tweaked his surgically repaired right knee as well. Again the Lakers don’t expect any long-term issues, it was minor, but they will treat this as if his knee is made of eggshells. Which it may be.
The Lakers know that Bynum and Gasol healthy is the key to their title hopes. So expect extreme caution.