Pau Gasol is set to return for the Los Angeles Lakers after some
controversy over his absence.
Gasol will try to help the Lakers end their season-high losing
streak at five games Tuesday night when they host the Milwaukee
The Lakers power forward has missed two straight games with a
respiratory infection, but returned to practice Monday. He was
breathing hard and it appeared his nose was still congested
“Just coughing, not being able to breathe, just really stuffed
up, all my cavities are affected,” Gasol said. “It is what it is.
You gotta play through it. I needed those days to try to get the
worst part out of the way.”
Some of his teammates were reportedly unhappy that Gasol sat out
Sunday’s 111-104 home loss to Philadelphia since it was his
decision not to play. Coach Mike D’Antoni addressed the situation
“(It’s) very unfortunate that a teammate would even think about
that, much less say it in the media,” D’Antoni said. “That is not
right, and that is definitely wrong. Pau was sick, and he’s getting
better now and he’ll be ready tomorrow.”
Gasol is second on the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game
and averaging a team-best 9.4 rebounds. He said his focus was on
helping Los Angeles (13-18) sweep the remainder of this four-game
“My teammates want me to be on the floor, they count on me so
that’s it,” Gasol said. “I just have to do my best to deliver and
be support(ive) for my teammates and make sure that we get through
these next three games with a positive note. Our goal is to win
these next three, no matter how, no matter what.”
The injury-plagued Lakers suffered another blow Sunday when
guard Xavier Henry left with a strained right knee that will
sideline him for at least another week.
Los Angeles will welcome another Eastern Conference lightweight
to town, as league-worst Milwaukee (6-24) begins a three-game trip.
The Bucks have lost eight of nine, and are 0-6 against West
“I think the road is one of the best places to get well,” coach
Larry Drew said. “We’re going on a three-game road trip. I think
when you go out on the road, there’s more of a sense kind of, of
Drew won’t have center John Henson, who will miss this trip with
a sprained left ankle.
Another second-year pro who will see action is Khris Middleton,
a small forward averaging 21.0 points on 51.7 percent shooting over
his last four games.
“He’s shooting it with confidence, that’s the one thing that I
do notice,” Drew said. “He’s shooting it with confidence, he’s
shooting it within rhythm. Khris is a good shooter.”
He’s one of the few Bucks shooting with confidence since
Milwaukee’s 42.0 field-goal percentage is one of the league’s worst
This contest also pits the league’s worst teams in rebound
margin, with Milwaukee at minus-4.8 and Los Angeles at
“That’s been one of our problems thus far this year,” Drew said.
“We talk about giving up the offensive rebound. We have to be
The Bucks have won three of the last four matchups after
dropping the previous six.