Even before the refs threw up the ball at the beginning of the first game of the new season, the Los Angeles Lakers knew they would not be using the Princeton as their exclusive offensive scheme. They also had no reason to believe they would be 1-4 and off to their worst start in half a century.
Yet here they are. The Lakers look listless and lost and are playing what resembles more of a Bermuda Triangle than an offshoot of the famous Triangle Offense that Tex Winter brought to L.A. years ago and Phil Jackson expertly implemented.
From the time coach Mike Brown brought in Eddie Jordan to teach the troops how to play it, the Princeton was going to be a part of an offensive scheme that would rely more on the instincts of its veteran players, especially point guard Steve Nash, who would become its general.
But whether Nash was in or out of the lineup, the Princeton has met with very limited success thus far. The Lakers are averaging just 97 points through their first five games while giving up 98 to the opposition. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for a new system that was supposed to get the team scoring average well over 100 points per night.
Team president Jim Buss may be saying there's nothing to worry about at this stage of the season but clearly he is.
"This team was built to win now," Buss said via ESPNLA.com.
"I know if we're 1-15, I don't think that would be very good. I'm sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I'm fine with what's going on. It's a learning process for the players. As long as everybody is on the same page, I think we're fine."
Is it time to shuck the Princeton and take a long, hard look at player and coach personnel? There certainly are enough reasons to have concern.