They have fired their coach, had their superstar guard dub them "old" in no uncertain terms and had their pesky little brother, the Clippers, steal their mojo. No, the 2012-13 season has not been kind to the Los Angeles Lakers.
And the news just keeps getting worse. On Monday the team learned it will be without center Dwight Howard and forward Pau Gasol "indefinitely." For a team that is already 15-18 and has lost three games in a row, it might be the death blow.
As long as Kobe Bryant is around, the Lakers have a chance to sneak into the playoffs. They're still only three games behind No. 8 seed Portland in the Western Conference standings. But this team isn't going anywhere without Howard, who suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder during Sunday's loss at Denver. He will be re-examined in a week and will miss that much time -- if not more.
Gasol, meanwhile, suffered a concussion and won't travel on a tough road trip to Houston and San Antonio this week.
- Brian McNally