Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant drives around James Harden… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)
The Lakers took what was a very winnable week and lost two of three. Now at 8-9, the team hits the road, where they've won just one of five. The Lakers are now three wins behind predictions for Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Perhaps they simply miss Steve Nash (leg) or maybe the tandem of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol just isn't a good fit.
Regardless, the team has the chance get some wins on the road with visits to the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets on back-to-back nights. They'll wrap up the short trip in Oklahoma City on Thursday before hosting the Utah Jazz on Sunday.
At full strength the team would have a good chance to get at least three wins but based on the current state of affairs, even a split might be progress.
Dec. 4 at Houston
The Lakers recently defeated the Rockets at Staples Center with big performances from Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.
Houston (8-8) is a potent offensive team with Jeremy Lin, James Harden and Chandler Parsons.
This is the key for the week: getting started with a win to build some level of confidence on the road. The Lakers can beat the Rockets but can they get it done in Houston?
Dec. 5 at New Orleans
The Hornets have struggled most of the season, suffering injuries to key players including rookie Anthony Davis (ankle) and Eric Gordon (knee).
As the Clippers learned recently, New Orleans can get hot with players such as Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Anderson. More often than not, the Hornets struggle to close out games.
The Lakers have a real opportunity to repair their poor start with two straight wins to start the road trip. That would put the team back above .500 and at 3-4 on the road.
Dec. 7 at Oklahoma City
The Thunder have started to blossom after an early season adjustment period following the James Harden trade.
OKC has 16.1 points a game from Harden's replacement, Kevin Martin, and Serge Ibaka has also been a steady offensive presence at 14.3 while blocking 3.3 nightly.
The Lakers may be able to challenge the Thunder later in the season once Nash is healthy and integrated. At this point?
Dec. 9 vs. Utah
The Lakers lost their final game of the Mike Brown era in Utah, 95-86. The Jazz opened an early lead and, although the Lakers challenged multiple times, a big night from Randy Foye was too much to overcome.
Utah is currently 9-9, perfect at home, but just 3-9 on the road.
This is yet another game the Lakers "should" win, but the predictions are starting to be shaped by regular letdowns.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.