Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers Schedule

Wading into dangerous waters

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
5:24
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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The Lakers enter Wednesday's game against the Clippers at 10-8. After losing three straight and four-of-five, they've dropped to 10th in the Western Conference almost one-third of the way through the truncated 66-game season.

Don't freak out. A couple wins changes the math substantially, since only 2.5 games separate them from Denver, currently the W.C.'s second seed.

Don't soft-pedal things, either. The Lakers have serious structural issues with the roster and a host of concepts to integrate confidently entering a critical, and potentially dangerous, section of the schedule. Start with Wednesday's game against the Clippers. Having dropped the first of the three-game season series, without a win the head-to-head tiebreaker goes to the red, white, and blue, essentially affording the Clippers an extra game's padding in the standings and a major leg up for the Pacific Division title.

Without taking the division, the team's chances of hosting a first round playoff series shrink considerably, no small consideration for a team currently 1-6 on the road.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.1
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.5
BlocksE. Davis 1.1