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For the first time in Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol’s career, he will be coming off the bench while healthy. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has made this coaching change to the lineup due to his offensive preferences.
According to ESPN, Gasol said in an interview, "I'm not excited about it. It's not something that I've ever been _ coming off the bench. But right now I'm more worried about us as a team and us struggling, so it would be selfish of me talking about how I feel of something in particular." D’Antoni feels that the team performs better when they go with a smaller lineup.
It’s true that Gasol put up a season-high of 25 points in the loss against the Raptors, but Gasol is clearly unhappy about the situation of coming off the bench. It’s the coach’s job to figure out how to play the best lineup and combination of players at once, but D’Antoni is clearly struggling and the chances that the Lakers make the playoffs are definitely diminishing.
The LA Times reports that Earl Clark will be Gasol’s replacement into the starting lineup. So far he’s almost averaging a double-double scoring and rebounding just under 10 points and nine boards per game.