|Kupchak is not happy. (Getty Images)|
From the Los Angeles Times:
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told a group of about 1,000 season ticket holders at Staples Center that he was "disappointed" with the team's performance this season.
"If you have a bunch of cylinders, we're not running on all cylinders right now," he said during a Q&A session Sunday morning, before the Lakers fell to 15-18 with a 112-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
At this point I think the question of the Lakers having cylinders is in question. They seem stuck in the mud for long stretches of the game, only really getting momentum when they're rolling down hill (like when they couldn't miss from the perimeter in the first game against Denver) or when the other team failed to put together a cohesive effort (as in their win against the Nets).
So what's the problem? Kobe Bryant has repeatedly made reference to the team being too old to compete nightly at a high level. Is the team past its prime, physically? What say you, Kupchak?
"I don't think age is a factor, no. That's an excuse," he said. "I don't think that's a factor at all when you look at our team. Young teams don't win championships. You have to have a good mix of experience and some legs in this business. ... I don't think for a second this team is too old to win a championship."
Kupchak indicated in the talk to the fans that he thinks it's primarily an effort issue. The team's just not locked in defensively. That's not a bad concept, as you can see even the younger players like Jordan Hill and especially Dwight Howard just letting opponents get to the rim in transition.
But the problems with the Lakers have to be monumental and complex, because of the depth of their failures and the longevity of their struggles.
It's effort. It's scheme. It's coaching. It's dedication. It's health. It's luck. It's everything.
A simple five-game win streak will change the narrative, a simple realignment of fortune over a short period will quell the disgust.
But for now, we're left like Kupchak, dumbfounded how this juggernaut could be rendered so mortal. At this point, it's not fear that the Lakers inspire.