Mike D'Antoni was brought in to stabilize the Lakers and lead them… (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated…)
The team concept has 13 to 15 players coming together to make each other better.
With a good team, individual flaws can be overcome. The Lakers are simply not a good team, not this year.
Whether they'll find themselves before it's too late remains to be seen. Where has there been any true improvement?
Steve Nash has always struggled defensively through his career. Kobe Bryant will do too much on offense and get lost on defense playing "center field."
Nash won back-to-back MVP awards as the same, limited defender. Bryant's headstrong style of play has helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships.
Dwight Howard doesn't have a refined post game and can't shoot free throws - and yet he and the Orlando Magic made it to the Finals.
Pau Gasol can be bothered by physical play but he's a two-time champion.
Mike D'Antoni has little reputation for coaching defensively but his run in Phoenix with the Suns helped revolutionize the game.
As a group the Lakers are older, slower and deflated. They've had injuries, coaching changes and too many failures to comprehend.
The Lakers are exposed for all their flaws, making each and every individual look worse than they are. There's nowhere to hide - no one covering for their teammates.
This is not a team, not one that that plays together. If the Lakers have any designs on salvaging the season, they're going to have to find a way to bring out the best in each other.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.