Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/2/13

The Los Angeles Lakers have improved since their horrendous start to the month of December, but they still do not look like the championship contender most experts expected them to be before the season began. Steve Nash has averaged almost 10 assists per game and his return from injury has helped, but L.A. has still played inconsistently both on offense and defense. The Lakers lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, once again dropping their record (15-16) below .500. After the game, Nash said a lack of chemistry has been the main issue. “We’re struggling to make the kind of connectivity it takes to make a team a team,” he said, via the L.A. Times. “We look like a bunch of guys trying to learn each other.” As a team, the Lakers shot 39.4% from the field in the 103-99 loss to Philly. Shooting has been an issue, but that could stem from a lack of chemistry. Guys are still getting used to one another, and it would stand to reason that Nash needs a little more time to know when and where his teammates like the ball. While L.A. has been nothing shy of uninspiring all season long, it’s important to remember that the Miami Heat had similar struggles during the regular season when LeBron James and Chris Bosh first joined Dwyane Wade. Miami went on to reach the NBA Finals that season and win the title the following year. Anytime you piece together a team of superstars, there are bound to be growing pains. When some of those pieces are well into their 30s, it can take even longer to grow. Should Lakers fans be nervous? I would be, but there’s no need to hit the panic button just yet.

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