Lakers: Week 11 predictions

Predictions: How Lakers might fare against Trail Blazers, Clippers and Magic this week

The Lakers were extremely close to a perfect Week 10, losing only one of three,  a last-second defeat by the Memphis Grizzlies.

At 11-23, the Lakers are still in 14th place in the Western Conference.

They'll play four times through Week 11, visiting the Portland Trail Blazers (26-8) and the Clippers (23-11) at the arena the L.A. teams share,  before hosting the Orlando Magic (13-24) and Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

To date, the Lakers are exactly at the cumulative prediction of 11-23.

Monday at Portland Trail Blazers

The Lakers will visit the Blazers without Kobe Bryant (rest) and Wesley Johnson (hip).  Johnson may be out for a lengthy period, leaving the Lakers without one of their best perimeter defenders.

The Blazers are a force in the Western Conference, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard surrounded by quality role players.

The Lakers rarely ever win in Portland at full strength.  Without Bryant, the game Monday night should prove quite difficult.

Prediction: Trail Blazers

Wednesday at Clippers

Despite a 67.6% winning percentage, roughly a 55-win pace, the Clippers are currently sixth in the West.

The Clippers are significantly better than the Lakers this season, led by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

The Lakers have been competitive lately and will give the Clippers somewhat of a challenge, but the home team should get the victory.

Prediction: Clippers

Friday vs. Orlando Magic

Among the non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference, Orlando has the most road wins (9-12).

The Lakers aren't good enough to take the Magic for granted.

Orlando is led by forward Tobias Harris, center Nikola Vucevic and guard Victor Oladipo.  The Lakers will also get a look at rookie Elfrid Payton, a player the team worked out multiple times leading into the 2014 NBA draft.  Instead, the Lakers chose Julius Randle with the seventh pick.  Randle was lost for the season on opening night with a broken leg.

Prediction: Lakers

Sunday vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The Lakers should give the Blazers a tougher challenge on Sunday with Bryant back in the lineup.

Portland outscores teams by seven points a game this season, averaging 104.1 points while yielding 97.1.

The Lakers are a high-scoring unit at 102.2 points a game, but the team has struggled on the defensive side of the ball by giving up an average of 108.4.  The Blazers are a tough team to stop; the Lakers will have their hands full, even with Bryant.

Prediction: Trail Blazers

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