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Pau Gasol wants more touches

He gets 20 rebounds for the second game in a row but takes only 11 shots against the Jazz.

December 13, 2009|By Mike Bresnahan

Reporting from Salt Lake City — Losses don't happen often to the Lakers, but there's often something interesting to come out of them.

After their 102-94 defeat Saturday against the Utah Jazz, forward Pau Gasol wanted more touches.

He made a plea for more action in the post after being asked how it felt to collect 20 rebounds for a second consecutive game.

"I'm just being active, pursuing the ball," he said. "I don't get many looks offensively, so I've got to get my offensive rebounds. Otherwise, I'll get five shots during the game. I'm trying to get my looks there, and I work hard and stay active and do what I can."

Good thing for him that he's rebounding a lot.

Gasol's back-to-back rebounding efforts made him only the third Lakers player in the last 14 years to take 20-plus rebounds in consecutive games, joining Lamar Odom and Vlade Divac.

Gasol made six of 11 shots in almost 43 minutes. He had nine offensive rebounds. So are teammates not looking for him or is he being thwarted by double-teams?

"A little bit of everything, I guess," he said. "I'm not inside a whole lot and teams are aware of our size advantage, and they come and double and they force us to make that extra pass. Guys have to knock it down from the outside so it opens up for us too."

The Lakers might have too many players in the post. Andrew Bynum likes to camp there, Kobe Bryant spends plenty of time there, and Ron Artest was aggressive in the post against Utah.

On Saturday, Gasol thought he was the odd man out.

Finger trouble

The avulsion fracture in Bryant's right index finger could take at least four weeks to heal, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said, setting up the possibility of a game-by-game analysis of Bryant's makes and misses until, say, at least mid-January.

"I think he can compensate for it," Jackson said. "I think he'll learn how to shoot around it."


Jackson wasn't thrilled with the Lakers' effort against Utah guards Deron Williams, Ronnie Brewer and Wesley Matthews.

"[Williams] just ran over Jordan Farmar. He just muscled him out of the way and that was a big part of the game," Jackson said. "We didn't pay attention to Matthews and Brewer. Our guys were wandering and gave them open looks and really didn't read what was going on."


Jackson, on players he's coached who have come back quickly from injury: "Gary Payton, I can remember when he hurt his knee, came back after a couple days in like a hydroponic chamber or something." He probably meant a hyperbaric chamber. . . . The Lakers wore their yellow home jerseys because the Jazz wore dark green throwback uniforms and the league asked the Lakers not to wear their purple road uniforms.

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