03-26-2008, 09:11 AM
NBA Legend and Hall of Famer
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Land of 16 NBA Championships
Article: OC Register - Odom carrying load while waiting for Gasol
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Pau Gasol did not progress enough to practice Tuesday, possibly pushing his return date to Sunday. Gasol still has swelling and soreness in his sprained ankle, but Coach Phil Jackson stopped short of calling it a setback.
"He didn't improve between Saturday and today," Jackson said.
The Lakers hoped Gasol could practice Tuesday and potentially be available Wednesday against Charlotte or more likely Friday against Memphis. Asked about the Friday target date, Jackson said, "I'm sure he'd like to be back for Memphis, but I don't know if that's a possibility."
Lamar Odom has played a major role during Gasol's absence.
He recorded his sixth consecutive double-double Monday and became the first Laker to grab 20 rebounds in consecutive games since Vlade Divac in 1995.
"We have to win to stay on top of this crazy race, so I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help propel my team to victory," Odom said.
Odom is averaging 18.6 points, 16.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.0 blocks over the past five games.
"This is what we've all expected from him since he's come here," Kobe Bryant said. "I think now he's comfortable. He understands the offense and he's playing with a great deal of confidence."
Odom had 23 points and 21 rebounds, five assists and five blocks Monday. He told Jackson he wanted to stay in the game and he ended up playing all 53 minutes.
"I felt like I was doing a good job deterring some of these guys' shots," Odom said. "Protecting the basketball, rebounding the ball. I knew I could help. I felt confident with my shot. I just wanted to stay out there. I'm paying for it now."
Odom and the other starters were given a day off to recover.
"It was a spa day for me," said Odom, "without the facial."
Source: Odom carrying load while waiting for Gasol