The Lakers have lost eight in a row, dropping all four through Week 13. That streak seems likely to continue through Week 14, the Lakers hosting the Washington Wizards (30-15) and Chicago Bulls (29-17) before visiting the struggling New York Knicks (8-37).
If there's a game the Lakers get, it's in New York but even that may be a stretch -- presuming the game is in fact played, with a winter storm causing the NBA to postpone the Knicks' home game Monday against the Sacramento Kings.
To date, the Lakers (12-33) are one game worse than the cumulative prediction of 13-32.
Tuesday vs. Washington Wizards
The Wizards are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference, second to just the Atlanta Hawks (30-15).
With Kobe Bryant out for the season, the Lakers are working now on developing talent. Washington is fighting for playoff seeding while the Lakers are better off positioning for the NBA draft lottery.
Thursday vs. Chicago Bulls
Pau Gasol makes a return to Staples Center to play his former team, albeit without Bryant.
Gasol is also an All-Star starter, helping to lead the Bulls to the fourth-best record in the East, just 1 1/2 games behind the Wizards (with the Toronto Raptors in third place).
Only five teams are above .500 in the Eastern Conference -- the Lakers draw two of them to open Week 14.
Sunday at New York Knicks
The Knicks are a rare team with a record worse than the Lakers.
New York is in a position similar to the Lakers', thinking about the NBA draft and free agency, with a plodding here and now.
While the Lakers average 99.3 points a game (yielding 106.1), the Knicks have trouble scoring at just 92.8 a night. New York isn't great defensively either, allowing 100.8 a game.
Assuming the game isn't affected by weather, the Lakers have a real shot to get one on the road.
The Lakers simply haven't looked like a winning team for some time.