The Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble. In their last 13 outings, this team has racked up 12 losses. Forget being a championship contender, this bunch doesn’t even look like a good team right now. It would be embarrassing for a bottom-feeding franchise like the Charlotte Bobcats to lose 92 percent of their recent games – for the Lakers to do it is almost inconceivable.
You can excuse away anything. The Lakers lost four of five against the Oklahoma City Thunder last season because the latter squad was younger and spryer. They lost all of their preseason games because they weren’t really trying. They lost three of their first four regular season games because the chemistry isn’t there yet. Yeah, okay. There are always excuses to be made. The fact remains, though: this team is awful right now.
Something. Needs. To. Change.
Because the Lakers’ roster is pretty unchangeable at this point, the only reasonable alteration that can be made right now is to the head coaching spot. Mike Brown, for better or worse, is the man responsible for making all of these future Hall of Famers play as such. And seeing as this squad is currently less than the sum of its parts, Brown’s head (justifiably) will be the first to roll if things doesn’t take a rapid swing for the better.
Of course, nobody within the organization is going to say that right now.
"You don't start 0-3 for the first time since we've owned the franchise without being on top of it," Jim Buss told ESPN. "No matter what, you have to be aware. That doesn't mean change is coming. That just means you have to be aware."
Aware? Aware of what, exactly? Buss never expounded on that point. But he did give his coach a vote of confidence. Sort of.
"I have no problems with Mike Brown at all," Buss said. "He just works too hard and he's too knowledgeable for this to be happening.
"So either the system is flawed or something's going on. Or, like the Triangle, it's very hard to pick up and understand. I'm not a basketball mind like he is or the players are, and the players are fine with it, so I just have to be patient."
Patient for how long, though?
"You have to give it time to understand [what's going on]," Buss said. "I don't know if there's an actual game total that would make me impatient. I know if we're 1-15, I don't think that would be very good. I'm sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I'm fine with what's going on. It's a learning process for the players. As long as everybody is on the same page, I think we're fine."
Thus far, the Lakers have given no indication that they can or will turn things around. The prospect of them going 1-15 sounds ludicrous, but so did the prospect of them losing 4-1 to OKC last year. And the prospect of them going 0-8 in the preseason. And the prospect of them going 1-4.
With this bunch, never say never.