Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president of basketball operations, vowed Thursday that now is not the time to panic over the team's 15-20 start.
Speaking with John Ireland and Ramona Shelburne, who was sitting in for regular host Steve Mason, on 710 ESPN radio, Buss blamed injuries as the primary reason for the Lakers' struggles.
"I don't know if we've had five games where all our players are playing," Buss said. "When you have injuries like that, you can't play enough games together to get chemistry."
So far the Lakers have played 24 games without Steve Nash, 10 without Pau Gasol and two without Dwight Howard. Gasol is currently recovering from a concussion. Howard, who had back surgery in April, now has a shoulder injury that will be reevaluated next week.
"Howard was playing at 70% and is probably still at 80%," Buss said. "He doesn't have the explosiveness. It's frustrating to him. You can see it. He talks about.'"
What of the team's glaring struggles on defense?
"You can't really get the defense going unless you play together; with injuries we haven't played enough together," said Buss.