Something made Pau Gasol feel lightheaded, and the reasons went beyond the persistent losing or his philosophical differences with Mike D’Antoni’s system.
He sat out the second half of the Lakers’ 103-94 victory Sunday over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center after experiencing dizziness. It was so bad that Gasol received three liters of intravenous fluids both during and after the game and will spend the night in a hospital for precautionary measures. The Lakers list Gasol’s status as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks at Staples Center. ‘
The Lakers did not have any explanation for what caused Gasol feeling nauseous. But it was serious enough for Gasol to stay in the training room for the entire second half and during post-game interviews. Gasol finished with six points on 3-of-7 shooting and three assists in 18 minutes.
“He was dizzy in the first half, went back in the dressing room and finished the half,” D’Antoni said. “They were trying to give him an IV and he was really dizzy and just couldn’t go.”
The Lakers also have injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left leg), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back and hamstrings) and Jordan Farmar (strained right calf).
Gasol has played remarkably efficient this month, averaging 20.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting through nine games in March. But he missed a combined 12 games this season for reasons including an upper respiratory infection and a strained right groin. Gasol also battled limitations earlier in the season partly stemmed from having offseason knee procedures.
If Gasol does not play, D’Antoni said he will probably start Chris Kaman at center. Kaman did not play against Orlando despite healing from a recent foot issue. Despite averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds, Kaman has played in only 34 games, in part because of various injuries and not fitting D’Antoni’s preference for small ball. D’Antoni has also favored Robert Sacre, citing his hustle on defense.
“Him sitting over there for a long time, it didn’t seem like that was the right time to do it,” D’Antoni said. “He’s been in and out of practice too. He’s had a bad foot and I just didn’t feel like this was the right time for him.”