LA Lakers: Biggest Culprits Behind Lake-Show's 0-3 Start

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst INovember 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers  confers with Steve Nash #10 in the game with the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Mavericks won 99-91.  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))  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have dropped to 0-3 to start the season after a 105-95 loss to cross-Staples Center rival Los Angeles Clippers.

Finger-pointing is never an attractive habit, but after a team is winless in three tries after an 0-8 preseason, eyebrows eventually begin to raise.

Starting at the top, the Lakers are simply not getting it done right now. Not one player or strategic situation stands out as stellar over the first three games, and that's a disturbing fact after the amount of money and faith the front office has put in this loaded roster.

From head coach Mike Brown all the way down to the lowly parts of the Laker bench, everyone deserves a share of this blame. However, that's not generally the way blame is split when you're a franchise with the illustrious history of the Lakers, so it's time to see where this team needs to improve to get a win.

Here's a look at the three biggest culprits from this team's 0-3 start, and what each needs to do better as questions start to mount about the ability of these guys to ever play together.

Mike Brown

It's starts at the top, and Brown's hiring was one of the most controversial in the history of the NBA. No one could replace Hall of Famer Phil Jackson, but Brown's offensive strategies are starting to come under fire after the Princeton offense has failed to produce results through three games.

The idea of taking the ball out of Steve Nash's hands, who is one of the NBA's premier shot-creators, is alarming in and of itself. It appears Brown is content with Kobe Bryant continuing to be the focal point of an offense that needs him to take less than 25 shots a game.

Brown has never been great at adjustments. He's described as a player's coach, but that doesn't always breed success when you need to make the tough decisions. Something has to change, whether it be in the locker room or in the fundamental foundation of what the Lakers are doing.

If Brown doesn't get it fixed soon, would GM Mitch Kupchak dare shake up the coaching staff midseason?

Steve Nash

LA's greatest fears have been realized after a game without Nash. The team is completely below average at the point guard position when Nash is on the sidelines for an extended period of time, whether or not Steve Blake is hitting his shots.

Nash wasn't doing much before he got hurt, either. He totaled just eight assists in parts of two games before his injury, and didn't look comfortable at all playing off the ball in a new offense.

Part of that blame lies with Brown, but Nash still has to find a way to make this marriage work. In a sideline interview with ESPN's Chris Broussard on Friday night, he said all the right things about his new offense, but in watching the telecast you couldn't help but get the feeling he was frustrated with the way things have been going.ย 

The 38-year-old will be in LA for the next two seasons, but he needs to figure out a way to get others involved while also being the Steve Nash who was a former MVP. That player is dynamic; the current Nash looks very average in his old age.

Lakers Bench

With the additions of Chris Duhon, Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison and a full year of Jordan Hill in the system, the bench was supposed to be a bright spot for the team.

At the very least, it wasn't supposed to be a hindrance.

So far, the bench has scored 17, 15 and 16 points through three games. That isn't going to cut it, as Brown hasn't felt any trust whatsoever in his bench in the second half of the team's first three losses.

I respect the fact that a star-studded lineup is supposed to carry the load. But all good teams have a second unit that can stem the tide when the first unit needs a rest. Right now, this Laker second unit has no consistency, no direction and no real semblance of being anything close to trustworthy.

Of the three, it looks like the bench will be the quickest fix. Once the new faces start to get comfortable, I think some of these guys will settle in. But if they continue to turn the ball over and miss wide-open shots, this could turn into the long-term Achilles heel of a team loaded with talent.

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for the Dallas Mavericks and a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.


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