Lakers’ Downward Spiral Raises Plenty of Questions but Has Few Easy Solutions

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — We live in a time when we have video on demand and we text while we drive, so of course we jump to conclusions about the NBA before we even fall back for daylight savings time the first weekend of the season.

The gross exaggerations that Byron Scott fails to understand modern basketball or Kobe Bryant should consider asking for a trade are patently absurd, even as this old-school Byron-Kobe team has indeed—gasp!—lost its first four games for the first time in illustrious Los Angeles Lakers history.

Exactly who expected them to win any of those first four games?!

The Lakers are putting in a new system under a new coach—unlike all four of their opponents so far—with their one star player having played just six shaky games in the past year and a half. They had significant and demoralizing injury absences—unlike all four teams they faced. And without having built a post-Mike D'Antoni defensive identity yet, they were playing four games in five nights for the only time all season…against four excellent offenses.   

Throw in the fact that the Lakers aren't quite stacked with talent in the first place…

With full acknowledgement that 0-4 is as much of a failure as could possibly be recorded right now, it's still a little early to be calling anything or anybody a real failure.

It's the nature of simplistic sports writing today just to cite the Lakers being last in the league in points allowed and transition defense without even noting their opponents were four of the top eight teams in the league last season in pace—and those teams all possess the kind of talent carryover and continuity for this season that the Lakers can't fathom.

Yes, the onus is going to rest on Scott to prove his discipline will translate into hustle and energy on defense—and not just guards getting back, but hav...

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