Gasol had just eight points on 3-for-10 shooting in 37 minutes, and Kobe Bryant specifically questioned his teammate’s shape.
“Pau is used to laboring up the floor and coasting a little bit,” Kobe Bryant said, via the LA Daily News. “In this offense, we have to put the motor on the first few steps we move up the court.”
The Daily News notes that Gasol was beat by Kings center DeMarcus Cousins on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. They say coach Mike D’Antoni even hinted at a conditioning issue.
“Pau didn’t have his legs,” D’Antoni said after the game.
Gasol didn’t seem to think his conditioning is a problem. He seemed to think he just needs to adjust to the new coach’s system.
“I don’t know if it’s extremely physically demanding.” Gasol said. “It’s an offense that you have to move and have to be on the go and get to your spots run to your spots and find some good flow out there that we really haven’t reached consistently. The offense will evolve and will be better.”
The good news for the Lakers is that they’re only 12 games into the season and, at 6-6, they still have plenty of time to pull it together. The early signs point to the Lakers’ perimeter players doing more of the offensive work than their front court. They also might need to work more guys into the rotation to keep their players fresh.
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