After a brief, two-game winning streak, the Lakers have dropped three straight to fall to 5-16 on the season.
They’ll play just three games through Week 7, hosting the Sacramento Kings (11-10) on Tuesday followed by road games on Friday in San Antonio and Sunday in Minnesota.
To date, the Lakers are two games behind the cumulative prediction of 7-14.
Tuesday vs. Sacramento Kings
The Kings opened the season well, but have struggled after losing center DeMarcus Cousins for an indefinite period with a bout of viral meningitis.
Cousins is averaging 23.5 points and 12.6 rebounds a game, a lot for the Kings to try and replace.
Instead, they’ll rely on scorers Rudy Gay, Darren Collison and Ben McLemore to try and get past the Lakers.
The Lakers haven’t been particularly competitive of late, but Tuesday is a game they should probably take.
Friday at San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio (15-5) isn’t quite at their best with Tony Parker hobbled (ribs) and Patty Mills (shoulder) out -- but they’re still the Spurs.
A slump for San Antonio means a loss every now and then, but rarely to a downtrodden team like the Lakers.
With Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs are still a near-championship team, even without Parker. Cory Joseph may get the start.
The Lakers aren’t quite up to snuff just yet.
Sunday at Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves (4-16) are the only team in the Western Conference with a worse record than the Lakers.
The team has dealt with a number of injuries (Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Mo Williams). Despite playing short-handed, the Wolves upset the Lakers in late November by a point.
Despite the Lakers’ recent struggles, getting back at the Wolves is a viable possibility.