Clippers vs. Lakers: Rivalry Game Is Not Must-Win for Lakers Despite Poor Start

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21:   Kobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers confer during the game with the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on October 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings won 99-92.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Everybody needs to calm down. The Los Angeles Lakers will be just fine.

After an 0-2 start, many have already had enough. Questions have started about whether it was smart to add Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, as well as whether or not coach Mike Brown should be able to keep his job.

ESPN's John Hollinger had this thought watching the loss against the Portland Trail Blazers:

Did the Lakers hold a training camp this year? Just wondering.

— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) November 1, 2012


Meanwhile, ESPN First Take was forced to debate this question on its program:

Should the Lakers chill right now or is it time to panic?

— ESPN First Take (@ESPN_FirstTake) November 1, 2012


NBA Analyst Chris Sheridan had this poll on his website:

Good morning, L.A. When will Mike Brown get fired by #Lakers? Vote here:…

— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) November 2, 2012


Only 36 percent of people believed the coach would make it to December. Sorry to disappoint so many people, but Mike Brown should stay with the team, and fans need to be patient.

The Lakers have lost two games. In all likelihood, the team will lose 20-30 more. There is no reason for concern.

In fact, the team is currently only one game out of a playoff spot—a margin that can be made up within a couple of days.

Overall, it does not matter where the team finishes as long it reaches the playoffs. Therefore, the record will not be a concern until Los Angeles is still out of a playoff spot in April.

The important thing at this point of the season is dealing with team chemistry. Admittedly, that has not been perfect through two games, but it is a part of the process with a team full of new acquisitions.

When LeBron James and Chris Bosh first joined the Miami Heat, the team started the season with a 9-8 record, causing many to question whether or not the superstars could coexist. At that point, however, the team rattled off 12 straight wins and eventually went to the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles is not only dealing with new personnel, but an entirely new offense. The Princeton offense provides different looks for the team, and it takes some time to get used to on the court.

With most of the team dealing with various injuries during the preseason, it was difficult to figure things out together. Now, the players must all learn as they go in games that count.

However, it is important to realize that there is a tremendous amount of talent on this team. Things will certainly get better before the season ends.

There are certainly some things that should cause concern, like Steve Nash's leg injury. But the team's record through a few games should not even be discussed. After all, after the Lakers started 0-2 last season, the team won nine of its next 11. 

Kobe Bryant might have said it best in an interview after the game (via USA Today), "I'll say it for (Brown): Everybody, shut up. Let us work, and at the end of the day, you'll be happy with the result."

Truer words might not have ever been said.