Working Kobe Bryant back into the lineup has been an adjustment for the Lakers, losers of two games in a row.
Playing without backup point guard Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Steve Nash (back) hasn't made games any easier for the Lakers.
Now they're going on the road for four games in five nights, starting in Oklahoma City.
"We have to be ready for it," Pau Gasol said after the Lakers lost Tuesday night to the Phoenix Suns. "If we're going to be able to be successful during the road trip, we're really going to have to step it up a notch, especially on the defensive end."
The Lakers were a mess defensively against the Toronto Raptors and the Suns in consecutive losses.
It isn't a great time for the Lakers to be struggling. Coach Mike D'Antoni said weeks ago there would be inevitable "turbulence" for the team once Bryant returned. It's a necessary evil, but one that sends the Lakers on the road with insecurity.
"It is what it is. You can't really change the schedule and make it work to your advantage. We've just got to figure it out as we go along," Gasol said. "We might struggle. We might lose a game here and there, so be it. It's a long season, we've just played a quarter of it."
The Lakers could drop to 10-15 if they lose to the Thunder, Charlotte Bobcats, Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies.
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