It was one thing for the Los Angeles Lakers to be the only team in the league to lose all of their preseason games, but Lakers fans are growing restless as the team has stumbled to an 0-2 regular season start as well.
Many figured the Lakers, already a playoff team, but now featuring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, would coast through their first two matchups against a Dallas Mavericks team giving heavy minutes to Eddy Curry and a Portland Trail Blazers team not expected to contend.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles saw cause for worry, saying that "the sky is falling in Laker Land."
Sure, there is plenty of basketball left to be played this season, but people are getting tired on waiting for this group to jell.
Maybe this is just a case of darkness before the dawn, or maybe there's stormy skies ahead for this group that was supposed to be a shining beacon this NBA season.
Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll took a more cautioned approach in its postgame recap, noting that Mike Brown's new players trying to work in a new, complicated offense shouldn't be expected to dominate off the bat. But while acknowledging that championships aren't won in October, Dexter Fishmore still realized that the indicators aren't good.
At the moment they're not even close to playing at a championship level. The notion that Laker fans are "panicking" I think is inaccurate. There are always a few knee-jerkers, of course, but most fans seem to understand the challenges Mike Brown confronts in trying to mold a reworked roster into something great. Still, dissatisfaction with the early returns is severe and justified. The Lakers have been trounced by a pair of teams that might both end up in the lottery. How bad will it get when the schedule presents them with better opponents?
As you'd expect, Kobe Bryant was displeased:
"It's going to be a little edgy because I'm not a very happy camper around here right now," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said, setting the tone for what the atmosphere around the team is going to be in the coming days. "Some things we have to shore up, and we gotta make sure we keep a sense of urgency."
Steve Blake chimed in as well, adding that "it's hard to find positives right now."
The Lakers have Thursday night off before a highly-anticipated game against their neighbors, the Clippers, and will need to play better against their toughest opponent of the year thus far if they want to win.