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Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers faces another tough run of games with the Lakers' schedule not providing the struggling Lakers any gifts.
The Los Angeles Lakers remain in the basement of the Western Conference following a demoralizing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. After a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, the Lakers got the day off on Wednesday to prepare for another back-to-back on Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, the Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers and Clippers have played twice this season, and the two Staples Center residents have each won on their respective home courts. On Thursday, the Lakers are the home side, but the Clippers are the in-form team.
After the game on Thursday night, the Lakers will board a flight to Colorado and face the Denver Nuggets on the second night of a back-to-back. There are certain games that are near guaranteed losses on the NBA schedule, and playing in the high altitude of Denver on the second night of a back-to-back fits that bill.
After playing the Nuggets, the Lakers will board a flight back to LA late Friday night. The players will get home and crawl into their beds about the same time the bar crowd is getting home.
Likely, the Lakers will practice on Saturday to prepare for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and company still hold the best record in the conference, so the Lakers face a difficult challenge of winning any of the three games between Thursday and Sunday.
After facing the Thunder on Sunday afternoon in a nationally televised game, the Lakers should get a day off. Monday should be a day to rest and bandage the cuts and bruises—both mental and physical.
Then, Tuesday promises to be a full practice day. On Wednesday, the Lakers will likely hold practice before hopping on a flight to Oklahoma City. Brutal does not do the Lakers’ schedule justice, as the Lakers will play in Oklahoma City on Thursday, Mar. 13 before hopping a flight to Texas and playing the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Mar. 14. As far as back-to-backs go, playing the two best teams in the West on the road probably takes the cake.
The Lakers’ next five games do not offer any gifts, and likely, they will not offer any wins. Of course, the win in Portland provides a recent example that the Lakers still have the ability to pull upsets, but the odds would heavily favor the Lakers going winless in their next five games.
Life is not easy in Laker Land these days, and it is scheduled to only get rougher.