(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Lakers, still trying to find their way this season, will be without Pau Gasol when they try to snap the Houston Rockets’ five-game home winning streak on Tuesday.
Gasol, averaging a National Basketball Association career low in points with 12.6 per game, will take a rest on the bench due to tendinitis in both knees, the Lakers said.
Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers (8-9), struggling to meet lofty pre-season expectations, will try to climb back to the .500 mark against the Rockets (8-8) following a 113-103 home loss to Orlando on Sunday.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s not solving world hunger, you just gotta go out there and do your job,” Bryant told reporters on Monday after Los Angeles was outscored 40-26 in the fourth quarter by the Magic.
The Lakers have gone 3-4 under new coach Mike D‘Antoni’s pick-and-roll system since he took over for the fired Mike Brown and Gasol has not been able to play his usual low-post game.
“He might not be posting up as much as he’d like,” said Bryant, leading the NBA with 27.6 points a game. “But he just has to adjust. The reality is I’ve adjusted. I’ve never run this many screen and rolls in my entire life, but I’ve worked on it.”
The Lakers have point guard Steve Nash out indefinitely with a small fracture in his right leg, and guard Steve Blake gone for the next six-to-eight weeks with a torn abdominal muscle.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue