The Marc Gasol Veterans Center will be the last Laker to miss the time due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols: Gasol is listed for Tuesday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns, the NBA team reported Tuesday afternoon.
By early Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers hadn’t indicated whether 36-year-old Gasol would be missing out on more time. The Lakers only have one more game, Wednesday night in Sacramento, before the All-Star break. They won’t resume play at home against Indiana until March 12th.
The Spaniard and one-time Lakers draft pick was a bit playful this season with an average of 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds, but was the only Laker to join LeBron James who has played all 35 games this season so far – until Tuesday.
The Lakers had just celebrated with the return of starting point guard Dennis Schröder, who missed four games due to health and safety protocols. Reserve guard Alex Caruso has also missed time this season due to the restrictions – in both cases neither player ever tested positive for the coronavirus, but was exposed to someone who had done so.
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The lack of gasoline makes the Lakers criminally thin in the middle, which was a difficult position initially this season. With All-Star striker Anthony Davis knocked out, Damian Jones is the only remaining player over 6-foot-10. The center recently signed a 10-day contract that is considered questionable with a strained back.
The Lakers also have 6-10 Kyle Kuzma, 6-9 Markieff Morris, 6-7 Montrezl Harrell, 6-10 Kostas Antetokounmpo and 6-7 Devontae up front as deep against one of the most physically imposing centers in the league in 6 – 11 DeAndre Ayton.
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