If they can't break their five-game losing streak and sweep the week, their chances look bleak for the future as most of January will be played on the road.
Through 31 games, the Lakers won 13, exactly matching the cumulative expectations to this point.
After the Lakers lost at home on Sunday to the 9-21
The Bucks are just 6-24 and will visit without big man
The Lakers are shorthanded with
The player the Lakers have really missed in recent games is
Milwaukee has an anemic offense, at 92.7 points a game while giving up 100.9.
The Lakers lost a close one last Friday in Utah against the Jazz, falling 105-103 on a late
The Jazz (9-24) have improved since getting back point guard
The combination of
The return of Gasol, assuming he's back in the lineup, should be enough to push the Lakers on top of the Jazz.
The Denver Nuggets (14-15) have lost six straight games to fall below .500.
The Lakers are just two games in back of the Nuggets, with a chance to make up ground this week given the (theoretically) light schedule.
Denver is led by point guard
The Lakers lost a game in Denver on Nov. 13, 111-99. Gasol had a big night with 25 points and 12 rebounds but the Lakers had a real problem with reserve center
Of the three games this week, the Nuggets should be the biggest challenge.
The Lakers are starting to fade in the Western Conference. They need a strong week to climb out of their prolonged slump.