Lakers: Week 18 predictions

The Lakers play three games through Week 18, but they're better off starting a new losing streak than winning

The Lakers (14-41) ended their seven-game losing streak on Sunday with a win over the Boston Celtics (21-33).

They'll play three times through Week 18, visiting the Utah Jazz (21-34) before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks (31-25) and Oklahoma City Thunder (31-25).

To date, the Lakers are one game worse than the cumulative prediction of 15-40.

Wednesday at Utah Jazz


The Jazz boasts a sizable frontcourt with center Rudy Gobert and forward Derrick Favors.  Guard-forward Gordon Hayward is having a strong season, and though Utah isn't playoff-bound, they're a young, capable team.


The Lakers played well against the Celtics, but the team may be additionally short-handed with Nick Young (knee) and Robert Sacre (foot) missed practice on Monday.


Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg) are out for the season.


Prediction: Jazz


Friday vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks recently beat the Lakers in Milwaukee in a wild overtime game. Milwaukee has since dealt guard Brandon Knight to the Phoenix Suns for Michael Carter-Williams, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Carter-Williams has yet to play with a toe injury; veteran Jerryd Bayless has filled in as the starter.

Milwaukee might be somewhat vulnerable as the team adjusts to the trade -- but the Lakers have rarely been able to take advantage of teams this season.


Prediction: Bucks

Sunday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder won't have Kevin Durant but they still have Russell Westbrook.

The All-Star guard is averaging 26.1 points and 8.0 rebounds.  Oklahoma City recently acquired forward-center Enes Kanter from the Jazz, along with D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from the Detroit Pistons.

Oklahoma City has serious playoff aspirations, which doesn't bode well for the struggling Lakers.

Prediction: Thunder

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