Paul Gasol will return to his normal spot in the Los Angeles Lakers' starting five when he's ready to return from knee tendinitis, and Mike D'Antoni is anxious to see how the veteran big man will gel with Steve Nash.

There had been rumors that Gasol could come off the bench upon his comeback, but D'Antoni denied that prospect -- at least for now.

"I'm not going to mess with Pau," D'Antoni said Sunday, alluding the possibility of bringing the four-time All-Star off the bench. "He's too important to the team and he's earned it and he's too good of a player to even go there yet. That would be a last-resort kind of [thing], desperate.

"If you lose, then you always try something. So I don't want to ever say, 'No, I'm not going to do that.' But at the same time, I don't have any intentions to do it. I don't think we should do it."