I have been accused of being overly critical when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, but even I have to admit the immediate reaction after their loss to FC Barcelona has been ridiculous.
The Lakers lost to the Spanish club 92-88 earlier today, and the response would make one think that the doomsday date of Dec, 12th 2012 had finally arrived.
I understand the Lakers have lost the first two games on their preseason schedule, but the bigger question should be, does it really matter?
Kobe Bryant shot a horrible 2-15 from the floor, and the rest of the team looked less than engaged, but if a person is looking for positives, at least the game was closer than the Lakers' first loss to the Minnesota Timber Wolves.
Of course noone thinks the Lakers should lose any game to a team outside of the NBA, but does anyone have any doubts that the results would be different if the game really mattered?
I know Lakers' fans will find it difficult to draw any positives from the team's second exhibition game, but after coping with the pain of the loss, there are silver linings in the clouds.
For one, Bryant looked a lot more comfortable on his surgically repaired knee than he did in the Lakers' opener, and his misfires were likely due to the fact he has yet to find his rhythm.
The Lakers also looked dominant on the defensive end at times, which is promising since defense should be the team's calling card in the 2010-11 season.
In fact, I'm more encouraged by the semi-strong defensive showing, rather than being disappointed in the offensive performance, because it takes a little longer to find an offensive rhythm in the preseason.
Regardless, people will still place far too much stock in a meaningless preseason game, that I would wager will be mostly forgotten once the regular season starts.
Newcomer Matt Barnes failed to score a point from the field, and Theo Ratliff looked extremely lost in the paint, which is mostly what I expected.
Steve Blake, the Lakers' new back-up point guard didn't fare much better, Blake scored 6 points in 21 minutes of play, while going 3-8 from the field and recording one assist and four fouls.
Should we erase the Lakers' three-peat hopes based on this game?
Well, the entire starting five did score in double digits, and the absence of injured Lakers' center Andrew Bynum probably did play some part in the loss, so I'm not quite ready to write the two-time defending champs off yet.
Pau Gasol scored 25 points and looked just as good in this game as he did during last year's postseason, which is a great thing since Bynum is not expected to make his return until at least December.
The Lakers have plenty of issues to work out before their first regular season game against the Houston Rockets begins, but they will not find the solutions in this loss to Barcelona.
I do agree the Lakers can look a lot better than they did earlier today, and I fully expect them to, once the games really count.