January 10th @ Houston Rockets: Win (9-2)
The Houston Rockets are not the same team they were last season that gave the Lakers some tough games in the playoffs. They still have James Harden — for now — and traded Russell Westbrook for John Wall.
They also lost Robert Covington to the Blazers and signed Christian Wood. They could be a back-end playoff team in the Western Conference, but might not even be good enough, especially if James Harden gets dealt. Lakers with ease.
January 12th @ Houston Rockets: Win (10-2)
The Lakers might have trouble taking both of these games if the Rockets still have James Harden In tow, but I genuinely believe they won’t. He’s long gone by January 12th. The bridges are burned. Lakers take a second one.
January 13th @ Oklahoma City Thunder: Win (11-2)
Once again, the Lakers should take this game with ease. The Thunder were a very solid team last season, but have completely overhauled the roster as GM Sam Presti works his magic upstairs, collecting picks. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has superstar potential, but both piece of the dynamic pick and roll of Chris Paul and Steven Adams are gone. This game could be ugly even with Al Horford now in tow.
January 15th vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Loss (11-3)
I love the Pelicans’ squad this year. They will make the playoffs — I’m sure of it. A team headed by the athletic freak of Zion Williamson and former Lakers’ lottery selection Brandon Ingram is going to win some guys even without the experience.
The Pelicans are a team that likes to get out and run especially with Lonzo Ball facilitating at times. They may have lost Jrue Holiday, but they also added Steven Adams. In a tough game, the Pelicans win a close one.
January 18th vs. Golden State Warriors: Win (12-3)
This will be a tough game against a Warriors team that might not be getting its fair shake with the media. Stephen Curry is still excellent, Draymond Green serves his purpose, and Andrew Wiggins took enormous steps forward with Golden State last season on both sides of the ball.
They even added top pick center James Wiseman and Kelly Oubre Jr. They have a solid squad. They will give the Lakers fits, but the Lakers will ultimately win it in tight fashion.