The Lakers have started the 2014-15 season poorly, losing their first four games over a busy five-night stretch.
The schedule lightens in the second week, with only two games, at home, against the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets.
The Lakers are one worse than last week’s prediction of 1-3.
Tuesday vs. Phoenix
The Lakers will eventually break out of their slump, but the Suns are a difficult matchup.
Phoenix boasts high-powered scoring point guards in Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. Markieff Morris gives the team some inside scoring, and his brother Marcus Morris is an outside threat. Centers Miles Plumlee and Alex Len do the dirty work inside. Gerald Green can also hit the three and attack the basket with his athleticism.
Defensive-minded forward P.J. Tucker will be available after serving a three-game suspension (DUI). He’ll be tasked with guarding Kobe Bryant. The Lakers’ All-Star guard is going to need more help from players like Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer for his team to have a chance against the Suns.
Sunday vs. Charlotte
The Hornets climbed to respectability last season, earning a playoff berth with newcomer Al Jefferson.
Jefferson is a traditional back-to-the-basket center, a rarity in today’s NBA. Last season against the Lakers, Jefferson got 40 points and 18 rebounds -- he’s a lot to deal with once he gets going.
Charlotte also added former Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson over the off-season, giving the team another defender who can also score, rebound and play-make. Marvin Williams helps space the floor for Jefferson at power forward.
Kemba Walker, a bright young point guard, is the player the Hornets often turn to when they need a big shot.
The Lakers will need to play well to beat the Hornets. If they do come into the game with an 0-5 record, their level of desperation should be an asset.