Lakers: Week 3 predictions

Pau Gasol, Anthony Davis
Pelicans forward Anthony Davis knocks the ball away from Lakers forward Pau Gasol during a 96-85 Lakers loss in New Orleans.
(Bill Haber / Associated Press)

The Lakers (3-5) will play three of four games at home in Week 3, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons.

The Lakers also visit Denver on the second night of a back-to-back, rarely a winning situation for any team in the league.

With wins over the Clippers in Week 1 and the Houston Rockets the following week, the Lakers have exceeded expectations by two full victories.

Tuesday vs. New Orleans Pelicans


The Lakers lost on the road in New Orleans on Friday, falling apart in the fourth quarter.

Steve Nash sat out with the Lakers playing on the second night of a back-to-back, after the team’s emotional victory over the Houston Rockets. Now with a back/hamstring problem, it appears likely that Nash may not play again against the Pelicans.

Anthony Davis scored a career high 32 points in 37 minutes; the Lakers will need to find a way to slow the second-year forward/center.

Even without Nash, the change of scenery should make a difference. Coming off a difficult loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers should give a much better effort.


Prediction: Lakers

Wednesday at Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are struggling to find their footing, starting the season 1-4.  They just lost center JaVale McGee indefinitely with a leg fracture.

Rookie coach and former Laker Brian Shaw is trying to pull his team together but the early results haven’t been especially impressive.

Hosting the Lakers, presumably without Nash on the back-to-back, should help Denver get back on track.

Prediction: Nuggets

Friday vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have yet to win or lose two games in a row. If that trends holds, Memphis will fill at Indiana on Monday, win at home against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday and drop to the Lakers on Friday.


It won’t be quite that simple for the struggling Lakers.

Memphis always seems to be a challenge, with Marc Gasol getting the better of his brother Pau Gasol in recent meetings.

The Grizzlies are a strong defensive team. If they struggle, it’s usually on the offensive side of the ball.

The Lakers are still trying to find a level of consistency. A win over the Grizzlies would be an accomplishment.

Prediction: Grizzlies

Sunday vs. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are another team with great size, bringing Josh Smith to join Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The Grizzlies are a better defensive team than the Pistons, but Detroit is a higher scoring unit.

The additions of Brandon Jennings and veteran Chauncey Billups, along with Smith, should give the Pistons greater composure down the stretch in close games.


The Lakers run hot and cold so far this season. The Pistons may be their best chance at a win in Week 3, especially if the Pelicans get Tuesday.

Prediction: Lakers


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Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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