Is L.A. 'Showtime' or defense first?

Lakers' identity crisis, Denver's point guard failures and other questions

Updated: November 16, 2012, 4:36 PM ET
By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider

Even though it's just three weeks into the season, there are some fault lines already emerging in several Western Conference contenders. While there seems to be relative parity in the conference, major questions have cropped up in Los Angeles, Denver and Oklahoma City, among others. Should these issues not be addressed soon, these teams could quickly go from contenders to afterthoughts. And what are cracks now will develop into major fissures.

Here are three big questions for several contenders in the Western Conference: