Could Los Angeles Lakers Rival Philadelphia 76ers for NBA Futility?

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't the Philadelphia 76ers, nor are they trying to be.

Unlike the Sixers, the Lakers didn't spend their summer hoarding cap space, scrounging for second-round picks, signing NBA D-Leaguers to throwaway deals and drafting guys they didn't anticipate seeing in action until 2015. Instead, L.A. went hard after marquee free agents, snatched up veterans on reasonable deals and drafted a rookie, in Julius Randle, who looked the part of an immediate contributor—all in an attempt to live up to not only Kobe Bryant's lofty standards but also those of the organization and its antsy fanbase.

Some good it's done them so far. The Lakers emerged winless from their four-games-in-five-nights set to open the 2014-15 campaign. That wouldn't be so bad, in light of the quality of competition they faced, if not for Randle suffering a season-ending broken leg in Game 1.

And that's all after Steve Nash had to call it quits on account of his balky back before the opening tip against the Houston Rockets.

Despite their best and honest efforts to win basketball games, the Lakers now find themselves out West in precisely the same place the Sixers are in the East: buried at the bottom of the standings, without a victory to stand on. Never have the Lakers started this poorly since they've been in L.A.; they last owned an 0-4 record back in 1957-58, when they were still based in Minneapolis.

What, pray tell, is going to prevent L.A. from winding up across the cellar from Philly at the end, too?

The schedule certainly won't. If anything, the 78 games remaining on the Lakers' slate would seem the biggest driver of whatever futility is to come.

As is the case with every club in the West, the Lakers are obligated to spend most of their schedule battling within the NBA's superior conference. They still have 48 games remaining against Western Conference opponents, as opposed t...

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