5 Things That Have to Happen for Los Angeles Lakers to Eclipse Expectations

Following four straight defeats to start their long NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are registering very low readings on the expectation meter.

A look at this snake-bit roster would seem to indicate it won’t take much to exceed those expectations. When you’re at the bottom, there’s only one direction to go.

Last year’s disastrous 27-55 record was the Lakers worst since the franchise moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960. To even reach that sad record this season will take some doing for the Purple and Gold, who seem more assured of a spot in the draft lottery than an improvement over last season.

A rejuvenated Kobe Bryant scored 19 and 31 points in his first two games back since missing most of last season. Still, the Lakers were drubbed by the Houston Rockets by 18 points and pounded by the Phoenix Suns (20 point loss).

Via ESPNLA.com, Bryant said, "We're not as bad as these two games."

He was right—the Lakers lost by just seven points on Friday to the Los Angeles Clippers. And yesterday, in Oakland against a highly touted Golden State Warriors team, the Lakers stayed close behind Bryant's blistering third quarter, but faded in the final minutes, having no answer for the combined 72 points put up by the backcourt of Klay Thompson (41) and Stephen Curry (31).

Expectations from the Lakers fanbase always runs high. When your team has won 16 world championships, the goal is always the sam: to win more of them. About the only things that seem certain in 2014-15 are that championships and playoff berths are simply not in the cards.

Had Steve Nash, Julius Randle, Nick Young and Bryant all started the season healthy and ready to contribute, the story line might be different. But with Nash (back) and Randle (broken leg) both gone for the year, and Young (thumb on shooting hand) out at least until December, the Lakers are sorely lacking in almost every...

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