Lakers hit the road to start Week 6, playing three games in four nights before returning home to host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The team started well with a victory in Detroit, winning their second in a row after last Sunday's
victory over the Toronto Raptors, but the momentum was lost as the Lakers fell to 5-16.
Given the Lakers owe their 2015 first-round pick to the
Phoenix Suns if they're not in the top five, winning occasionally but not often may be worse for the team. Kobe Bryant struggled with fatigue on Tuesday, but had enough energy to carry the Lakers past the Pistons, 106-96. He finished with more assists than points, a rarity for his career.
The Lakers continued to
dominate the Eastern Conference, improving to 4-0 despite struggling against the West. The streak didn't last through Wednesday, when the Lakers fell to the Washington Wizards, 111-95. Jeremy Lin had a difficult night, missing all 10 shot attempts.
The team's struggles continued on Friday, falling in Boston,
113-96 -- in a game where the Lakers and Celtics aren't quite the franchises they were just a few years ago. Despite his team's struggles, Coach Byron Scott is confident in management's vision for the future.
Before the game, Bryant sat down for breakfast with Celtic
Rajon Rondo, having a "basketball geek" conversation -- something Scott said he wouldn't do back in his day as a Showtime Laker.
Scott vowed to change the team's
starting lineup, following the loss in Boston -- his team seemingly losing interest. An online oddsmaker dropped the Lakers' championship chances to 200-1.
Carlos Boozer and Lin were benched for
Ed Davis and Ronnie Price, but the Lakers still fell on Sunday to the Pelicans, 104-87. The lineup change gave the starting group a better look defensively, but little help for Bryant on offense.
The Lakers have only
11 healthy players. The NBA granted the team a hardship exception to increase their roster to 16, but the team has chosen (for now) not to take advantage.
Meanwhile, the team stuck with
Wayne Ellington, increasing his contract guarantee.
Finally, rookie Jordan Clarkson was sent to the
NBA Development League, helping the D-Fenders get their second win in 10 games.
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