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Oops, Pau Surprise

By 10.26.09
Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

Is it just us, or has this been — from an injury standpoint — the most destructive NBA preseason in a while? Last year Deron Williams started out on the shelf, and of course Gilbert Arenas and Monta Ellis had their issues, but we don’t remember too many other notables beginning the regular season logging DNPs due to preseason injuries … One standout who’s absence will be very noticeable on Opening Night is Pau Gasol, who as of yesterday is expected to miss the Lakers/Clippers opener with a bad hamstring. Gasol and Andrew Bynum (shoulder) missed L.A.’s last two preseason games, but while Bynum said he’s going to play Tuesday, the Lakers look like they’ll be getting their rings with Gasol in a suit and Lamar Odom in the starting lineup … And just to make TNT sweat even more bullets, Blake Griffin (knee) might also miss the Lakers/Clippers game. Griffin hurt the same knee earlier in the summer, then banged it up again during the last preseason game. That’s just the Clippers’ luck that they finally get a high-profile national TV game, and now their marquee attraction can’t go … Tyler Hansbrough will definitely miss his first NBA game (and more). He’s still recovering from the hip injury he suffered a while back and is reportedly a couple weeks away from playing … Allen Iverson (hamstring) is still slated to miss Memphis’ opener againt Detroit, but you know A.I. wants to get back to show the Pistons they messed up. It just goes to show Iverson has an uphill battle trying to prove himself when his team doesn’t seem to mind that he’s missing time. When A.I. was in Philly, they’d do anything they could to get him on the court so long as he wasn’t missing a limb. (FYI, Mike Conley should play in the Grizzlies’ opener after tweaking his ankle in their last game.) … Michael Beasley says he’s not sure whether he’ll be ready for the regular season, as he’s dealing with thumb and shoulder injuries. Over the weekend you probably saw the photo that’s been circulating of Beasley on a boat laid out next to a bunch of bottles of alcohol — sort of a better-quality version of the infamous maybe-weed-maybe-not photos from this summer. The company line is that Beasley was simply asleep at some team function and that he never touched the drinks. Basically it boils down to whether you can visibly tell the difference between “asleep” and “passed out.” It seems like no big deal, but hopefully Beasly learns he just can’t get caught up in situations where things could look bad … Derrick Rose missed a big chunk of the preseason with an ankle injury, but he says he’ll be ready for the Bulls’ opener against San Antonio. Have you seen Chicago’s schedule? They start off with the Spurs, then go to Boston and Miami, and between a road game at Cleveland and getting the Nuggets at home, their only “breaks” are games against Milwaukee and Charlotte. And then not too long after that, the Bulls go on a two-week road trip … Devin Harris (groin) and Emeka Okafor (toe) are also coming off recent injuries. Odds are they won’t miss any time, but won’t be at 100 percent … Nellie named his starting five: Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and Andris Biedrins. If you’re looking for Anthony Randolph, he’s a little banged up, and Nellie said he wouldn’t start him right now even if he was healthy because he needs to rebound (among other things) better. So naturally the alternative is starting 6-5 Maggette at power forward; that’ll help the rebounding situation. The Rockets, who get Golden State in their first game, have to be loving this turn of events given their own frontcourt issues. And in Game 2, Amar’e Stoudemire might score 60 points if he’s got that frontline guarding him … The other “Nellie being Nellie” move: He put down Acie Law as the backup small forward. Yeah, 6-3 point guard Acie Law. The day is coming — probably this season — when Nellie runs out a starting five of all guys 6-5 and under; it’s like he thinks the NBA is a rec league … We’re out like Pau …


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