That the Lakers aren't playing at a level anything close to title-worthy is plain. But why, what can be fixed, and what does it all mean going forward?
For a wide variety of opinion, take a look at this experts Q & A, addressing the following topics:
1. What one thing concerns you in what you see about the Lakers play this year?
2. If you were coaching this team, what would you do to jump start it at this point?
3. Does Kobe Bryant need to do more, or does he need to do something differently? Explain.
4. Which team in the West is the most formidable threat to the Lakers, and why?
5. If you were forced to decide right now, will the Lakers win a third championship?
Panelists include: Andy and me, along with ESPNLA.com's Dave McMenamin and Arash Markazi, John Hollinger, Marc Stein, and J.A. Adande from ESPN.com, and 710 ESPN's John Ireland and Dave Miller.
Words like inconsistency, lethargy, focus, and execution are a common theme, as are performance questions surrounding guys like Ron Artest and Pau Gasol. The Spurs are the unanimous choice for Western Conference threat, and the panel is split- leaning towards no parade- on the threepeat issue.
Ours isn't the only opinion, though. How do you answer the five questions above?