Like Del the Funkee Homosapien’s second album, there is No Need for Alarm. At least not this early in the season.
The Lake Show was in no mood to take a Euro Trip just as camp got underway and they sure played like it during their stops in London and Barcelona. Another second half collapse left the European Champions FC Barcelona with bragging rights as they took out the two-time defending NBA champions by the score of 92-88.
Much like the loss to the T-Wolves, the Lakers melted down in the third quarter, squandering an 11-point lead with 6 and a half minutes left in the third frame. Color Phil Jackson unimpressed with FC Barcelona. In typical PJ fashion he gave the Euro champs a backhanded compliment.
“They played really well, but they’re not up to the competition that we face night in and night out. But that’s not taking anything away from them. The physicality of our game, the size of our players, those are things that night in and night out are very difficult to contest.”
It wasn’t all bad for the Lakers. There were some positives.
Pau Gasol did his thing in his hometown. The Spanish Ambassador might have been partially at fault for the Lakers losing their legs late, what with Gasol keeping his teammates out late enough to miss the team bus yesterday. Pau posted a robust double-double, dropping 25 while pulling down 10 boards in 35 minutes of action.
It might be early in the season but Lamar Odom is ready to start playing meaningful games now. I’ve always felt LO’s game was perfectly suited for success in the international style of play and he proved me right by scoring 12 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in an impressive, if not shocking, 41 minutes of court time.
What was even more amazing was Kobe Bryant being on the court for nearly a half an hour of game time. So much for KB24 playing limited minutes in Europe. It’s still clear his legs aren’t under him quite yet. Bryant was a John Starks-esque 2 for 15 from the field but did manage to get to line 12 times sinking 11 en route to a modest 15 points.
As for the victors, Barcelona was led by former Cincinnati Bearcat Pete Mickeal who nearly messed around and got a triple double. Mickeal posted a game-high 26 points, grabbed 13 boards and dished out 7 dimes.
Juan Carlos Navarro might not be missing life in the NBA. Pau’s fellow countryman promised a win and delivered with 25 points and 6 dimes.
Oh…some Ricky Rubio kid played too. Maybe you’re heard of him. A couple years ago he was being called the next Pistol Pete. If by Pistol people meant Pop Gun then they were right. Rubio is nice in the open floor but he’s still not ready for the L.
All in all it wasn’t the best trip for the Lake Show but at least the team is coming home healthy. Up next is another cross-Atlantic flight followed by a date with the Sacramento Queens.