Pau Gasol ruled out for Friday’s game vs. Dallas

Pau Gasol may never wear a Lakers uniform in a game again.

The Lakers (25-50) ruled him out for Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks (44-31) at Staples Center because of continuous symptoms stemmed from vertigo and they have no assurances on whether he will play at any of the seven remaining games. The Lakers have not formally shut Gasol down for the season, but they do not know his status for Sunday against the Clippers in a designated road game at Staples Center.

Gasol sat out of the Lakers’ loss Wednesday in Sacramento and remained confined to the team hotel. He then flew back to Los Angeles on the team’s charter plan after missing five games because of the illness.

This has marked a rough season for Gasol where he has missed 15 games because of a variety of ailments, including an upper respiratory infection (three games) and a strained right groin (seven games). Gasol openly shared his philosophical differences with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni about his offensive role and his small-ball philosophy. Although Gasol leads the Lakers in scoring averaging 17.4 points per game, he has shot 48 percent from the field, the second lowest mark of his 12-year NBA career.

Gasol, 33, will become an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely take a paycut from the $19.3 million he makes this season. If this marks Gasol’s last year after surviving endless rounds of trade discussions for the past three seasons, his last game with the Lakers entailed a nine-point, four-rebound effort in the Lakers’ loss Tuesday to Portland.

Afterwards, Gasol suggested he had returned too early and still felt dizziness on the court. Those symptoms turned for the worse once he arrived in Sacramento.

In addition to Kobe Bryant’s season-ending left knee injury, the Lakers have plenty on the injured reserve list, including Steve Nash (back), Xavier Henry (right knee) and Jordan Farmar (right groin).

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Pau Gasol to miss Lakers-Kings game with severe recurrence of vertigo

Lakers' Nick Young gets a hug from Lakers# 16 Pau Gasol after he is fouled in the first half. The Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers’ Nick Young gets a hug from Lakers# 16 Pau Gasol after he is fouled in the first half. The Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

The Lakers will not feature a Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman as a starting tandem, and the reasons will not involve Mike D’Antoni’s preference to have a smaller lineup.

Gasol will miss the Lakers’ game tonight against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena after having a severe recurrence of vertigo following the team’s 124-112 loss to Portland on Tuesday at Staples Center. Gasol will stay incapacitated in his Sacramento hotel room and will either fly tonight on the Lakers’ charter plane or sometime time later on a commercial flight depending on his recovery.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have listed Chris Kaman as a game-time decision after being bothered by a right calf strain. Possible replacements in the Lakers’ starting lineup would include Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly.

After missing the past four games because of vertigo, Gasol suggested he may have returned too early after posting a listless nine points on 4-of-9 shooting, seven assists and four rebounds.

“I wasn’t confident out there. I wasn’t assertive enough,” Gasol said. “I didn’t feel confident enough to make aggressive moves or turns. When I turned my head a couple of times, everything was still kind of shaking.”

Kaman also looked sluggish with his 12-point performance on 6 of 16 shooting and six rebounds. During Gasol’s previous absence, however, Kaman provided some decent performances, including posting a season-high 28 points Sunday against Phoenix. Kaman had recently nursed soreness to his right foot.

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Mike D’Antoni will start Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman vs. Portland

After resisting the idea for most of the season, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he will start Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman together for tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

What precipitated the changed entailed nothing more than Kaman posting 28 points on 13 of 19 shooting and 17 rebounds in the Lakers’ win Sunday over Phoenix.

“Chris played really well. It’s something we have to look at, but it’s going to affect other people,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve had this discussion. Somebody is going to pay for it. We’ll see how it goes.”

D’Antoni declined who will become the casualty in what will mark the Lakers’ 32nd starting lineup of the season. But in recent days, he has said his reluctance to play Kaman partly entailed not wanting to reduce playing time for Robert Sacre, Ryan Kelly and Jordan Hill.

Pau Gasol admitted not feeling fully healthy stemmed from vertigo, an illness that made him miss the past four games. He appeared in higher spirits a day after lamenting Kaman’s lack of playing time this season. Kaman has averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds, but has appeared in only 38 games this season.

“We communicated how we can not be on top of each other so the spacing is still right,” Gasol said. “Just competing and utilize our size to protect the paint and control the boards. That would be a big plus so we can control the boards and win that battle and keep them under one shot.”

Gasol and Kaman played in a handful of preseason games. But after sitting out in the middle of training camp stemmed from a stomach virus during the team’s pr-season trip to China, D’Antoni relied on a range of so-caleld stretch forwards, including Shawne Williams and Ryan Kelly. Amid the losing, why did it take this long for D’Antoni to give Gasol and Kaman a chance?

“We lost. You get a sense of how you want to play and a sense of what looks good and have a sense that we were better with Shawne Williams back then with spreading the floor and playing an up tempo game. Up until the injuries, I thought our record showed it,” D’Antoni said, referring to the Lakers’ 10-9 start. “Then when the injuries hit, I don’t care who was playing. Without a point guard, it was going to be tough to win.”

D’Antoni specifically cited about his concerns about the lack of floor spacing. Gasol and Kaman are not considered strong defenders. Gasol and Kaman played together well in the preseason. But their starts through three games this season led to three seasons, although one of the wins entailed a signature win against the Houston Rockets in early November.

“It’s been pretty up and down all year. The lineups have changed as we know all the time,” Gasol said. “But this isn’t a lineup we have gone to much at all. It’s better late than never. We’ll see how it works. I’m getting close to 100 percent and will make it work better. The spacing is definitely a part of it. But you lose some things and win at others. I think with our size, we’re both active and our IQ and experience should make a difference.”

How much that helps could depend on Gasol’s health. He plans to travel for Wednesday’s game in Sacramento. But he still acknowledged feeling lightheaded. To expedite his recovery, Gasol has completed exercises that involves rotating his neck while opening and closing his eyes to simulate dizziness.

“I don’t feel too well yet,” Gasol said. “I’m hoping it’s just part of the process and that it’s just one step at a time and there’s no setbacks.”

Meanwhile, D’Antoni considers both Steve Nash (back) and Xavier Henry (right knee) probable for tonight’s game.

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Five things to watch surrounding Pau Gasol’s pending return

The Lakers' Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards' Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

1. Will Pau Gasol remain asymptomatic? His return tonight when the Lakers (25-48) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-27) at Staples Center hinges on how his body feels a day after participating in Monday’s practice. So if there’s any lingering symptoms ranging from dizziness, cold sweats and fatigue, Gasol likely will not play. But should he take the court, will Gasol still avoid any lingering affects? After all, Gasol reported feeling these symptoms during the Lakers’ win last week against Orlando for no apparent reasons. Since then, Gasol reported doctors have not found the root cause of his illness. Either way, Gasol will exercise plenty of caution whenever he steps on the court, whether it’s tonight or later in the week.

2. How will his energy look? The Lakers missed Gasol’s presence in the past four games for obvious reasons. He is the team’s best post player and a willing passer. But Gasol’s success this season has largely predicated on his health. Consider the breakdowns in his scoring averages through every month this season: November (14.9 points), December (15.5 points), January (20.8 points), February (18 points) and March (19.3 points). His slow start partly correlated with coming into training camp rusty stemmed from an offseason procedure on both of his knees. He then had a variety of ailments, including an upper respiratory infection, foot issues and a strained right groin.
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Pau Gasol expresses hope to play alongside Chris Kaman

Something made Pau Gasol’s head spin, and no he isn’t still experiencing vertigo.

Gasol does not understand why Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni hesitates to play Chris Kaman along with him after he posted 28 points on 13 of 18 shooting in the Lakers’ 125-99 victory Sunday over the Phoenix Suns. Or after seeing Kaman average 14 points on a 47.9 percent clip and 8.8 rebounds in the seven starts over Gasol while nursing various ailments.

“After a monster game like last night, it’s hard to bench a guy like that and not play him like the most part of the year,” Gasol said. “You have to give him some credit and understand he’s a valuable piece and one of the best pieces right now.”

D’Antoni said he remains undecided on how that scenario will play out should Gasol play Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center after missing the past four games because of vertigo. D’Antoni even joked to reporters, “I was going to ask you guys and give me scenarios where we could play them.”

But after signing a one-year, $3.2 million this offseason, Kaman has experienced what he has called his most frustrating season in his 11-year career. Kaman has averaged 10.3 points in 18.6 minutes, but has only appeared in 38 games. D’Antoni has often credited Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre for having superior defense and for Kaman’s versatile skillset becoming less valuable because it mirrors Gasol’s game.

“You do the math. If you’re going to play Pau 30 minutes, that leaves 18 minutes some place,” D’Antoni said, referring to the 48-minute game. “You’d like to play Robert because he’e developing. Even if you play 10 minutes, which is noting, that leaves 8 or 9 [minutes] with Chris.”
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Pau Gasol calls having vertigo “a scary moment for me and my family”

With three liters of intravenous fluid just inserted into his ailing body, Pau Gasol struggled processing what had just happened.

Gasol just exited the Lakers’ win over Orlando last week after feeling dizzy and light-headed for no apparent reason. Soon after, he lay on a stretcher en route to an ambulance wondering when the pain would ever end.

“It was a nightmare. I was feeling terrible,” Gasol said. “Everyone that saw me felt bad. I was extremely pale and shivering and couldn’t move.”
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Pau Gasol to miss Lakers’ trip in Milwaukee and Minnesota

The Lakers' Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards' Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Pau Gasol did not travel with the Lakers (24-46) for their trip to Milwaukee (Thursday) and Minnesota (Friday) after a visit with a ear, note and throat specialist on Wednesday showed he still has symptoms pertaining to vertigo.

Gasol’s ailments began when he felt dizziness during the Lakers’ win Sunday over Orlando before skipping the second half to receive three liters of intravenous fluids before eventually spending the night in a nearby hospital. He was discharged the next day, but still sat out of the Lakers’ win Tuesday over New York.

Gasol does not plan to receive additional treatment other than resting at his Redondo Beach residence. Gasol has not received any medical clearance to exercise in any way.

Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar traveled with the Lakers on their Wednesday morning flight to Milwaukee despite nursing respective back and right groin injuries. But Nash’s status is listed as questionable after missing the past two games because of recurring nerve irritation in his back, an injury that has sidelined him for all but 11 games this season. Farmar has missed the past four games because of a strained right groin and will stay out for at least another week.

Chris Kaman will likely start in Gasol’s place. Kaman has had a diminished role this year, but has started seamlessly during nine games Gasol has missed due to various ailments. In the Lakers’ win Tuesday over New York, Kaman posted 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds in 23 minutes.

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Pau Gasol considered doubtful to play vs. Knicks after being diagnosed with vertigo

The Lakers' Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards' Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers have listed Pau Gasol’s playing status as doubtful for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks after spending Sunday night in a hospital and being diagnosed with vertigo.

An MRI showed that Gasol’s head feels normal after experiencing dizziness that kept him out of the second half of the Lakers’ win Sunday over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. Though Gasol was released from the hospital, he will have a follow up examination on Monday.

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Pau Gasol’s considered questionable Tuesday vs. New York after experiencing dizziness

The Lakers' Pau Gasol argues that he was held after committing a turnover against the Wizards, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol argues that he was held after committing a turnover against the Wizards, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

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.”


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Pau Gasol leaves Lakers-Magic game with dizziness, nausea

The Lakers' Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards' Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol drives on the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat, Friday, March 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Lakers forward Pau Gasol stayed in the locker room once the second half resumed of the Lakers’ game Sunday against the Orlando Magic at Staples Center because of dizziness and nausea, according to the Lakers.

It’s currently unclear what led Gasol toward feeling that way, but he scored six points on 3 of 7 shooting in 18 minutes in the first half. Lakers center Robert Sacre started in Gasol’s place to open the third quarter.

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.

The Lakers are also currently nursing injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) and Jordan Farmar (strained right groin).


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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