Pau Gasol has been ruled out for the remainder of the Lakers' road trip with a sprained left ankle suffered early in Friday night's loss to the New Orleans Hornets. X-rays revealed a moderate sprain which will sideline Gasol for today's game at Houston as well as next week's game at Dallas and Utah. Gasol has averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds a game with the Lakers and the team is 15-4 since his arrival.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
With Bynum still out, Ronny Turiaf is the last healthy center left standing in Lakerland and will see a few starts in Gasol's absence. Turiaf has been a solid contributor for the Lakers this year and his high energy play on both the offensive and defensive ends makes him an intriguing fantasy option.
Turiaf is an adept shot blocker, averaging 1.3 a night and has shown the ability to be a solid contributor in both points and rebounds when given extended playing time. In 10 games this season where Turiaf has played 25+ minutes, he is averaging 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and a sparkling 2.2 blocks a contest.
On Friday night, Turiaf played 33 minutes after replacing Gasol 2 and a half minutes into the game and you can expect him to see around 30 minutes a night over the next week. Unfortunately, the Lakers will play three of the NBA's best in Houston, Dallas and Utah, so temper your expectations of Turiaf a bit despite the big minutes. He should be a good source of rebounds and blocks but the point totals will be inconsistent.
Other Lakers to watch include Vladimir Radmonovic, who should see more offensive touches and increase his three point and scoring totals, and of course Kobe Bryant. Bynum and Gasol's injuries coupled with Lamar Odom's inconsistency on the offensive end, you can expect Kobe to fill up the stat sheet and put up some serious point totals as long as Gasol is out.