Bringing Pau Gasol off L.A. Lakers Bench Is the No-Brainer Move They’re Missing

The Los Angeles Lakers have finally started to discuss the issue of whether or not to bring Pau Gasol in off the bench, something that's been buzzing about the Internet for a few weeks now.

Of course, even though they had the conversation, they've already made the decision to keep him in the starting lineup when he does eventually return, which is a questionable decision.

They have their reasons, of course. They want to wait until Steve Nash returns to see if he can make everything run more smoothly, and it probably feels strange to them to have a $19 million sixth man.

On the surface, it's easy to see that Gasol is struggling. From the knee tendinitis that has kept him out of the past three games to the career-low numbers he's putting up (12.6 points on 42 percent shooting), something is obviously wrong with Gasol.

Normally it would be fine to attribute his drop-off in production to the injury, but it's been such an extreme decline that it's hard to take that as the one and only culprit.

One of the other biggest factors in Gasol's early-season troubles has to be that he and Dwight Howard fit together like cheese and chocolate. You could probably find a way for them to work together, but they've both got to be perfect. In this case, it's been a little more like mixing Hershey's Syrup with Cheez Whiz than Swiss dark chocolate with a wedge of brie.

Before he was sat down in an attempt to rid him of the knee tendinitis that has been bothering him since training camp, Gasol was camped out in the high post more often than usual. This forced him into jumpers and shots away from the rim more than he's used to.

The plurality of Gasol's shot attempts have come from outside the paint, but inside the three-point line, from where he's taking 46 percent of his shots and making just 39 percent. Compare that to last season, when he shot just 40 percent of his shots from the same regi...

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