Unless you've been living under a rock or stuck in a soap opera-style coma of late, you've probably noticed that the Los Angeles Lakers have issues, to say the least. A 113-103 loss on Dec. 2 to the visiting Orlando Magic, from whom the Lakers stripped Dwight Howard, would suggest as much.
The defeat dropped the Lakers record to 8-9 through the first 17 games of the 2012-13 NBA season. This, despite playing more home games (12) than any other team and being gifted one of the easiest schedules in the league by opponent winning percentage (per ESPN).
Of course, it doesn't help that those 12 dates at the Staples Center have yielded only seven wins, or that they've now lost to six teams that don't currently own winning records.
But the problems that currently plague the Lakers (of which there are many) have less to do with locations and opponents and more to do with their own internal discord. You can point the finger of blame in any number of directions—be it at the turbulent coaching situation, the remade roster, muck amongst management or the lack of energy and/or consistency on the defensive end.
Just don't lay the culpability for the Purple and Gold's paucity of success on these five factors.
Not entirely, anyway.