We're in the "no setbacks" business, people!
Meaning, in other words, we're also in "the Pau Gasol" business. The Spaniard will indeed be back in uni this evening. For how many minutes, nobody knows. His effectiveness? Remains to be seen. Any limitations we should expect? "We'll find out when I'm out there," shrugged the center. About the only thing Gasol felt comfortable banking on was the that night would include some discomfort while on the court. "There's soreness. Of course. You know there's going to be soreness, there's going to be pain. You just have to deal with it and get over it." The pain will be worth it in Pau's eyes, however, since the time spent as a cheerleader has been driving him stir crazy. "It's been very hard. We're (doing) something very special right now and it's been hard just being a watcher and not being active out there and helpful."
As always, Gasol was quite cooperative with the swarming media surrounding his locker like vultures on a coyote carcass. But when Sasha Vujacic snuck in and tried asking a question, Gasol blew him off entirely. "I don't talk to you, sorry." I asked if he's got any issues with the Slovenian media. "Especially that guy," smiled Gasol. "He can be dangerous."
Phil Jackson doesn't foresee any restrictions on Gasol's minutes this evening, but guesstimated the number off the top of his head at somewhere between 16-25. Like any game, much will depend on how he plays and how whoever relieving him does. Asked how Pau's latest practice went, PJ described the player as "tentative." The physical movement and shot creation ability has been fine, but listed defensive slides, rebounding, energy pursuing loose balls, and shot blocking as the biggest issues right now. I wondered if any mental tentativeness was accompanying the physical. "I think he's gonna kind of feel it out, see how it goes. I think he'll gain confidence as he goes through it."
Note: A few readers wanted us to ask about Jordan Farmar's PT of late, which has shrunk a touch. Another writer beat us to the punch. At any rate, the topic was addressed, for those curious.