Through the early part of the 2013-14 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are the definition of a mediocre team. They're 8-8 through 16 games, and while half of those wins are by double digits, five of the losses fall under the same category.
The honest truth is that everybody on the roster must play to the best of their abilities if this group wants to compete for the postseason. That's the goal in Tinseltown, and while expectations across the league may be lower, it's a reasonable target at this point in the year.
For the purpose of this article, we'll look at the five players who must help LA become a top-eight seed in the West. That doesn't mean the players on this list have performed poorly all season; it means each one can take his game to the next level before the year comes to an end.
Kobe Bryant's return will, of course, help the process, but everybody must be on top of their game to exceed expectations of those around The Association.