puffyusaf#2 wrote: therealdeal wrote:
puffyusaf#2 wrote:I'm torn with the answer to this but I think bringing Pau off the bench with the second unit while Nash is still out may be the best.
He doesn't necessarily need to be "demoted" that way. That's tough on anyone's psyche especially someone as gifted as Gasol.
That's why we should just pull him earlier in the first and have him play with the second unit mostly (or vise versa with Howard as long as Nash is out). Play him with Kobe more, those two have a winning pedigree and need to rekindle their relationship on the court.
I don't consider it a demotion. His minutes should be the same and game time rotations will put him with Kobe like you suggest. The only demotion Pau has suffered is sitting in the 4th quarters because he isn't aggressive nor rotating effectively on defense. In the end, Pau has to show he is supposed to be here or he may be the odd man out for sure.
But it really is a different mindset and it takes guys a while to fully embrace that. It took Lamar a LONG time to sit there and accept that he, a borderline all-star at one time, was going to be coming off the bench. Now Gasol, a future Hall of Famer, is being asked to do the same thing, that's going to take a toll on someone's psyche. If we continue starting him and just pull him early, then we can use him with the bench guys anyway. It's not necessarily as clear cut as benching him, but it provides the same thing for the team.
That way what's left of his confidence isn't completely swept away.