Lakers: Week 9 predictions

Tough to predict a win for the Lakers this week, when they play the Warriors, Bulls, Mavericks and Suns

After their best week of the season, the Lakers stumbled through Week 8, dropping all three contests.

At 8-19, the Lakers are in 13th place in the Western Conference. 

They'll play four difficult games through Week 9, hosting the Golden State Warriors (23-3) and Phoenix Suns (15-14) while visiting the Chicago Bulls (18-9) and Dallas Mavericks (20-9).

To date, the Lakers are two games behind the cumulative prediction of 10-17.

Tuesday vs. Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have the best record in the NBA.

With scorers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt, and forwards Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and reserve Andre Iguodala, the Warriors have a tremendous balance of offensive firepower and defensive role players.

Andrew Bogut is a vital part of the Warriors' success as the man in the middle, but the veteran center is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

The Lakers aren't yet up to the challenge of the surging Warriors.

Prediction: Warriors

Thursday at Chicago Bulls

The Lakers visit Pau Gasol in Chicago, drawing one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls have struggled to stay healthy this year, with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and Gasol all missing games.

Guard-forward Jimmy Butler has arguably been the Bulls' best player, and is likely the leading candidate for the NBA's Most Improved Player award.

Depending on how many Bulls are healthy on Christmas Day, the Lakers should be in for a challenge.

Prediction: Bulls

Friday at Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks recently acquired point guard Rajon Rondo in a trade with the Boston Celtics.

He joins an already potent team with Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parson and Tyson Chandler.

The Mavericks were already a threat in the Western Conference before acquiring Rondo.

The Lakers are floundering, 11 1/2 games behind Dallas.

Prediction: Mavericks

Sunday vs. Phoenix Suns

If the Lakers get a game this week, it's Sunday against the Suns, but Phoenix is a particularly tough matchup with guards Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas.

The Lakers have already lost twice to the Suns, by 20 points in Phoenix and six at Staples Center.

After a long, difficult week, the Lakers may be able to pull out a win, but 0-4 is a realistic possibility.

Prediction: Suns

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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