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Spurs missing Pau Gasol’s veteran presence

Pau Gasol

The San Antonio Spurs suffered another humiliating defeat against the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Spurs got blown out by James Harden and co., 136-105, and the team looked absolutely lost for the better part of the lopsided contest.

Following the defeat, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich admitted that his team is feeling the absence of big man Pau Gasol not only on the floor, but off the court as well.

“It would be great to get him back,” Popovich said, via Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “He was a big part of what we were doing, and not just on the court. In the locker room, he’s great. He’s smart, a great teammate and having him available would be wonderful.”

The 69-year-old coach went on to belabor his point by sharing what type of impact Gasol has in the Spurs’ locker room.

“There is a lot to being around,” Popovich added. “Those interactions before a game, after a game, whether it’s a win or a loss, a meal or a practice, sitting around in the locker room, teams figure out who they believe in the most, who they trust, who they feel comfortable around. Certain guys bring things together when they are not going well, a sense of humor. All those things. Pau is a wonderful guy.”

Gasol is currently nursing a stress fracture in his right foot, as the 38-year-old has been out of action for almost a month now. The Spurs are notoriously reserved when it comes to their players’ injuries, so the 7-foot big man currently remains without a timetable to return.

The Spurs have lost five of their last seven games, and at the moment, they could use all the help they can get. Hopefully, Gasol makes his return to the court sooner rather than later.