It’s Officially Time for the LA Lakers to Hit the Panic Button

Sorry, Buzz Lightyear, but Woody was right—this is the perfect time to panic.

We're more than a quarter of a way into the NBA season, and the Los Angeles Lakers currently sit at 9-12.

To put such a wretched start into an even clearer context, a team that boasts the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash stands at three games under .500.

Worse yet, with $100 million in payroll, each of the Lakers' wins have cost them more than $10 million apiece.

So yeah, this is the perfect time to panic.

Los Angeles is just 4-7 since Mike D'Antoni officially took over. Sure, we're less than halfway into the season, but time is no longer an excuse. Nor is the absence of a training camp to implement D'Antoni's seven-seconds-or-less system.

And you know what? The absence of Gasol and Nash are no longer cause for a pardon either.

Los Angeles is posting a record of 6-6 against teams at or under .500 to go along with a 3-6 showing versus teams with winning records. The team is 2-6 on the road and barely over .500 at the Staples Center.

How is that not cause for alarm?

On paper, even without Gasol and Nash, the Lakers are a quality team. We've watched both Howard and Bryant carry past teams to prominence on their own, so putting forth a competent effort on a daily basis should be a cinch together.

Or so you would think.

Bryant has dropped 30 or more points 10 times thus far, but the Lakers are just 1-9 when he accomplishes such a feat.

Lakers lose 117-110 to fall to 9-12. Consistency? These guys don't know the meaning. Kobe scores 34, but L.A. now 1-9 when he goes for 30

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 10, 2012 To be fair, Los Angeles' struggles cannot be attributed to Bryant alone. He's played porous defense on a number of occasions, but there are stretches where he is literally the only Lake...

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