Tomorrow’s notebook tonight …
Pau Gasol sat out the Lakers’ 114-80 exhibition loss Tuesday night to the Utah Jazz at the Honda Center because of what can be best described as training camp fatigue. He wasn’t bruised or bloodied. Nothing was broken or strained or sprained.
Gasol, the Lakers’ starting power forward, was simply tired.
Antawn Jamison filled in for him and scored seven points on only 2-for-11 shooting.
Lakers coach Mike Brown decided to err on the side of caution and not push too hard. Brown has said repeatedly he doesn’t care if the Lakers lose all eight of their exhibition games this month. These games don’t matter. The ones later in the season and in the playoffs do.
If this were March or April, then Gasol would have played against the Jazz.
Since it was Oct. 16, he sat out.
Gasol wasn’t the first starter to take a seat for a relatively minor reason. Kobe Bryant didn’t play in last Wednesday loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in Ontario after suffering a strained right shoulder while dunking during practice one day earlier.
Dwight Howard, one of the Lakers’ two prized additions last summer, didn’t play for the fourth consecutive game after undergoing season-ending back surgery last April. If there is a timetable for him to make his Lakers debut, the team isn’t sharing it with reporters.
Gasol’s absence from the court was a surprise. He chatted briefly with a reporter before the game, talking about Spain’s draw with France in World Cup soccer qualifying earlier in the day. He also said he slept for most of the bus ride from El Segundo to Anaheim.
Brown said Gasol, like Bryant last week, argued to play.
“Pau had a long summer. He looks a little fatigued,” Brown said.
Gasol, like Bryant, played in the London Olympics, logging heavy minutes for the Spanish team that lost to Bryant and Team USA in the gold medal game. Both players had lengthy training camps and a number of exhibitions leading up to the Games, too.
Brown shifted Jamison to the power forward spot after Jordan Hill suffered a herniated disc in his back last week. Jamison has played both positions during his career, with Brown saying of the veteran, “he just keeps on keeping on.”
Lakers fall again
Bryant scored 23 of the Lakers’ 24 points in the third quarter, but they couldn’t keep pace with the Jazz after the game’s first few minutes. Bryant had 31 points, five rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes, 10 seconds for the Lakers (0-4).
Steve Nash played only the first quarter and scored two points. He had four turnovers and then was replaced by Steve Blake and Chris Duhon, who are battling for the backup point guard position. Blake had on point and Duhon had four.
Gordon Hayward had 13 points for Utah (3-1).