The NBA: Yo, Buss. Trade Pau – NOW!

All you really need to know is that the LA Lakers are doing almost as bad as the Sacramento-but-soon-to-be-Seattle Kings. That should be enough to send shivers down any Laker fan’s spine.

And since I’m a fan of Pau Gasol, I want Jerry Buss to get off his @ss and just trade the big fella. I like Gasol. Despite what his numbers suggest, I still think he is one of the top 5 low post operators in the globe. Bar none.

Just give him a Spain jersey and you’ll see.

But with the Lakers’ purple and gold? With Dwight Howard? With an aging Steve Nash? With a stubborn-as-hell Mike D’Antoni? With Kobe simmering with anger?

With that kind of environment, Gasol is just one thing – a scapegoat.

Pau Gasol, and his fans, cannot take it anymore.
Just trade the big fella.
(image by Mark J. Terrill/AP)

And I personally don’t mind that, as long as he shipped out to a better place before the deadline.

The only real concern with Pau is that, well, he’s not exactly a spring chicken. Currently, he hasn’t been as effective as he was in his two championship seasons with LA. With Dwight Howard hogging most of the middle, there’s hardly any place from where Gasol can operate efficiently. He shoots more jumpers now compared to before, ANS now he’s literally a step slower EVERYWHERE he is.

I’m no Laker fan, but I’ve always been big on Gasol. He’s been battered and bruised in LA. He was traded… and then NOT traded. He languished on the bench (undeservingly so) because of D’Antoni’s genius. He doesn’t deserve this maltreatment.

So, Mr. Bust, er, Buss. Do your team and Gasol a favor by just cutting him loose.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
January 22
Cleveland 95, Boston 90
Kyrie Irving started strong and put the Cavaliers on his back down the stretch to carry them to victory. Irving scored 40 and tallied 11 of the Cavaliers' final 13 points to push Cleveland past the reeling Boston Celtics, 95-90, at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday. He missed just two shots in scoring 19 first quarter points and shot 16-of-24 for the night to help Cleveland rebound off its rough 1-4 road trip. Tristan Thompson followed with 21 points and nine rebounds in the victory. With the defeat, the inconsistent Celtics have tied a season-worst with their fourth consecutive loss following a six-game winning streak. Rajon Rondo scored a team-best 17 points along with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Paul Pierce scored 12, but shot a miserable 3-for-15 from the field. Kevin Garnett tallied 16 points in defeat.

Detroit 105, Orlando 90
Andre Drummond and Jason Maxiell each recorded double-doubles with 11 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Detroit Pistons past the struggling Orlando Magic, 105-90, on Tuesday. Brandon Knight led Detroit with 18 points and Greg Monroe chipped in 16 points and six boards for the Pistons, who have won two straight following a loss to the Knicks in London last Thursday. Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey donated 15 and 14 points, respectively. J.J. Redick scored a game-high 26 points on 9- of-10 shooting and netted five 3-pointers for the Magic, who have lost three straight and 14 of their last 16 games overall. Jameer Nelson contributed 14 points and nine assists in the defeat.

Milwaukee 110, Philadelphia 102
Ersan Ilyasova scored 27 points and pulled down 16 rebounds and Brandon Jennings had 25 points and seven assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 110-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Monta Ellis scored 18 points to go with 10 assists and Mike Dunleavy added 11 points off the bench for the Bucks, who have won three straight. Evan Turner had 23 points and seven assists and Spencer Hawes added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have dropped 19 of their last 26 games overall. Nick Young scored 20 points off the bench in the setback.

Oklahoma City 109, LA Clippers 97
Kevin Durant scored 13 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in a battle of the NBA's elite. Durant was seemingly unconscious in the final frame, converting 5-of-6 field goal attempts and 3-of-3 from behind the arc over the final 12 minutes. The reining three-time scoring champion also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists for the Thunder, who improved to an NBA-best 33-9 with the win. Russell Westbrook added 26 points to go with six assists and Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and pulled down nine boards in the triumph. Blake Griffin notched a double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds, Jamal Crawford scored 14 points and Eric Bledsoe added 12 points for the Clippers, who played without All-Star point guard Chris Paul for the fourth time in six games. Paul, who injured his right knee at the end of Los Angeles' 104-101 loss to the Magic on Jan. 12, played in the team's last two games. Paul scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists in Saturday's win over Washington, but struggled in Monday's setback to Golden State, scoring just four points on 1- of-7 shooting. With the loss, the Clippers (32-11) fall a 1/2 game behind the San Antonio Spurs (33-11) in the Western Conference standings.

January 23
Atlanta 104, Charlotte 92
Josh Smith stepped up for the injury-ravaged Hawks, tallying 30 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, as Atlanta downed the Charlotte Bobcats, 104-92, to complete a four-game season sweep. Kyle Korver connected on 5-of-6 from 3-point-range en route to 21 points and Ivan Johnson finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the victory for the Hawks. Despite missing Al Horford, Devin Harris and Zaza Pachulia, who all sat due to various ailments, Atlanta was able to capture its second straight win and eighth consecutive over Charlotte. The Bobcats continued their miserable play at home, with their starters only managing a combined 31 points in the team's 16th consecutive loss at Time Warner Cable Arena. Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon scored 27 and 15 points, respectively, off the bench in the Bobcats' third straight defeat.

Miami 123, Toronto 116 (OT)
Dwyane Wade scored 35 points and LeBron James recorded a triple-double, as the Miami Heat fended off the Toronto Raptors, 123-116, in overtime. James finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but missed a shot at the buzzer that could have given the Heat the victory in regulation. Wade then scored six points in the extra session and Miami ended the game on a 13-2 run -- highlighted by two 3-pointers from Ray Allen -- to win its third straight game. Allen poured in 18 points off the bench, while Chris Bosh chipped in 12 points and 12 rebounds in the Heat's ninth straight win over Toronto. The Raptors, playing their third overtime game in a week, shot 13-of-25 from 3-point range in regulation, but just 1-of-6 thereafter. They had seven players score in double figures, led by Alan Anderson's 20-point effort.

Chicago 85, Detroit 82
Jimmy Butler led six Chicago players in double- figures with 18 points to help the Bulls edge the Detroit Pistons, 85-82, on Wednesday. Butler also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists for the Bulls, who have won five of their last six. Carlos Boozer scored 16 points, Taj Gibson scored 14, and Nate Robinson and Richard Hamilton each added 11 points in the triumph. Joakim Noah scored 10 points and pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds for Chicago. Brandon Knight scored 13 points to go with seven assists, Kyle Singler scored 12 points, and Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey finished with 11 points apiece for the Pistons, who had won two in a row entering the contest.

Denver 105, Houston 95
Ty Lawson posted 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds to lead the Denver Nuggets past the reeling Houston Rockets, 105-95, at Toyota Center. Wilson Chandler followed with 20 points off the bench, while Danilo Gallinari poured in 18 points and Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee each netted 14 for the Nuggets, who have won two straight and eight of 10 overall. With the win, Nuggets coach George Karl notched his 1,100th career victory. James Harden scored a game-high 23 points for Houston, which also received 15 points from Carlos Delfino in its ninth loss in 10 games.

Memphis 106, LA Lakers 93
Darrell Arthur scored a season-high 20 points off the bench as the Memphis Grizzlies added to the Los Angeles Lakers' January woes with a 106-93 victory at FedExForum. Arthur added nine rebounds to help the Grizzlies dominate the glass en route to dealing the reeling Lakers a fourth straight loss and its first seven-game road skid since the 2004-05 season. Memphis finished with a 52-34 advantage on the boards, with Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph each posting double-doubles in addition to a 19- point, six-assist effort from Mike Conley. The Lakers fell to 2-10 for the month despite Kobe Bryant's 29 points. Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol recorded 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the loss.

Brooklyn 91, Minnesota 83
Not even a decade's worth of losing in Minnesota could slow down the surging Brooklyn Nets. Brook Lopez scored a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and the Nets captured their first win in Minneapolis since 2002 with a 91-83 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each netted 18 points, while Williams dished out eight assists in the Nets' third straight victory. C.J. Watson added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting off the bench in just 20 minutes of play. Brooklyn improved to 12-2 under the leadership of interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who has the Nets within a half-game of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks. Andrei Kirilenko tallied a team-high with 15 points, Dante Cunningham followed with 14 off the bench and Jose Juan Barea scored 11 with eight assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost seven of their last eight contests.

San Antonio 106, New Orleans 102
Tony Parker totaled 24 points and 13 assists and was instrumental in a late run that pushed the San Antonio Spurs over the New Orleans Hornets, 106-102, at AT&T Center. Tiago Splitter, taking control down low in the absence of Tim Duncan, had 25 points and seven rebounds, while Stephen Jackson and Danny Green added 15 and 12 points, respectively, in the Spurs' sixth straight victory. The Hornets, who beat the Spurs earlier this month and had won three of four coming in, were ahead 86-85 at the midway point of the fourth quarter, but saw San Antonio score 16 of the next 19 points to build a double-digit cushion. Greivis Vasquez recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists to lead New Orleans, which got 17 points from Eric Gordon and 16 from Ryan Anderson.

Utah 92, Washington 88
Paul Millsap scored 16 points to go with 15 rebounds and the Utah Jazz held off a late Wizards rally to take a 92-88 decision over Washington on Wednesday. Al Jefferson notched a double-double as well with 11 points and 10 boards. Despite shooting just 38.1 percent in the second half, the Jazz were able to hold on for their fourth consecutive victory and sixth in seven games. Gordon Hayward added 15 points off the bench for Utah, which received 11 points and six assists from Jamaal Tinsley and 12 points from Randy Foye in the win. The Wizards battled back from a 22-point first half hole, but ultimately fell short in attempting to finish with a winning record on their five-game road trip. Martell Webster scored a team-best 15 points and John Wall finished with 14 points along with eight assists in the defeat.

Portland 100, Indiana 80
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and J.J. Hickson recorded a double-double, as the Portland Trail Blazers ended a six- game losing streak with a convincing 100-80 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Blazers shot 56 percent from the field against the league's stingiest defense and had all five starters score in double figures. Hickson finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, Damian Lillard netted 20 points and Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each had 10. Paul George and David West logged 22 and 21 points, respectively, for the Pacers, who were coming off a road win at Memphis on Monday.

Phoenix 106, Sacramento 96
Luis Scola scored 21 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 106-96 win over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Michael Beasley added 19 points and Goran Dragic added 12 points and 11 assists for the Suns, who won on the road for just the fourth time this season. Tyreke Evans scored 16 points and DeMarcus Cousins added a double-double with 15 points and 15 boards for the Kings, losers in three of their last four.

Golden State 104, Oklahoma City 99
Stephen Curry posted 31 points and seven assists as the Golden State Warriors held off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 104-99, on Wednesday. David Lee added 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Klay Thompson poured in 19 points for the Warriors, who have won three straight. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points with nine assists and five rebounds for Oklahoma City, which fell for the second time in three games. Kevin Martin followed with 16 points while Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each dropped in 12 in defeat.

Jarrett Jack and Harrison Barnes celebrate as the Warriors continue to
impress midway through the 2012-2013 NBA regular season.
(image by Ben Margot/AP)

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