L.A. Times: Pau Gasol stood before the media Friday night, his hair still damp after a shower, his shoulders slumped, and sighed.
“I’m tired,” he said. Gasol had just played 49 minutes of an overtime game for the Lakers.
It was taxing for Gasol, who once again had led the Lakers in minutes played. His minutes have increased substantially since center Andrew Bynum went down Jan. 31 because of a torn ligament in his right knee, and it has taken a toll on Gasol. He has averaged 42.1 minutes a game in the 10 games since Bynum was injured.
“Yeah, I’m playing a lot of minutes,” Gasol said. “It’s hard. It’s demanding. But I’m not going to complain at all. I love playing. I love helping my team and doing what it takes to win. I’ll be out there as long as I can and as long as they want me to. But it is challenging.”
Despite the heavy minutes, despite moving from power forward to center, where Gasol often has to face stronger and bigger players, his production hasn’t dropped. It has been just the opposite.
Over those 10 games, Gasol has averaged 22.2 points on 61.6% shooting, 11.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He even had a triple-double during that stretch.