The Lakers haven't had a lot of time together because of injuries, but questions persist about the roster itself. Do the Lakers have the pieces they need to win, once given enough collective experience, or are they just a .500 team, despite all the expectations?
The Lakers have been better with the return of Steve Nash from a leg injury, but they remain inconsistent.
"It's confounding," Nash said. "It's frustrating. We're in a tough position. We really have a lot of ground to make up. We're not finding a lot of answers right now, and we're struggling a little bit."
Nash has played in just seven games this season. The lack of cohesion is natural, given the lack of reps.
"There's just so little commonality. There's so few common experiences between us, so many situations just seem new," Nash said. "I think we're struggling to find that little bit of connectivity that makes a team a team.
"We need common experiences. So far we just look like, I think, a bunch of guys who are trying to learn each other. We don't have that understanding yet," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do. We're running out of time here. We can't necessarily hit the panic button, but there needs to be a better sense of urgency."
The tricky part for general manager Mitch Kupchak is deciding whether a roster change would be beneficial. The Lakers may need to alter the roster, but those changes, even though they may be the right basketball decisions, may delay the team's natural (but painful) processing of coming together.
What's the tipping point for Kupchak and the Lakers?
That's a question to which there may not yet be an answer.
— Eric Pincus