In what’s become an annual tradition, I go through the newly released schedule for the Los Angeles Lakers and predict each game individually through the highly scientific technique of flipping a coin 82 times, then guessing what probably happened.
Let’s do this.
At Portland Trail Blazers - Win — The good news is Damian Lillard might have some great source material for his next mixtape.
Vs. Houston Rockets - Win — Pretty fortunate that the Lakers would catch Houston before James Harden can play himself into any other shape than his current state of “round.”
Vs. San Antonio Spurs - Loss — Really nice of the Lakers to help the Spurs move past the Kawhi Leonard fiasco by giving them an early-season win.
At Phoenix Suns - Win — I still can’t believe the Suns basically just drafted Erick Dampier first overall as the league moves away from centers almost entirely.
Vs. Denver Nuggets - Loss — Ah, man. They fall just short against former Laker Isaiah Thomas.
At San Antonio Spurs - Win — One can only be so charitable, after all.
At Minnesota Timberwolves - Loss — Look at the Lakers loosening Thibs up to take on Luol Deng’s contract by offering up a W. #LightYears
Vs. Dallas Mavericks - Loss — The season’s first losing streak. All is most definitely lost.
At Portland - Win — WE BACK, BABY.
Vs. Toronto Raptors - Loss — Aw man may as well trade that LeBron James guy.
Vs. Minnesota - Loss — Did I say trade? Might have to waive him at this point.
At Sacramento Kings - Win — CHAMPIONSHIP.
Vs. Atlanta Hawks - Win — Death, taxes and LeBron beating up on Atlanta.
Vs. Portland - Win — Three straight wins against Portland? Is this real life? Someone must have banned Harrison from tweeting about that team.
At Orlando Magic - Loss — This marks the 31st season in a row where I can’t name more than four players on the Magic.
At Miami Heat - Loss — Well, at least there’s another former LeBron team out there the Lakers could beat on the road.
At Cleveland Cavaliers - Loss — Crap.
Vs. Utah Jazz - Win — I guess this settles once and for all that Lonzo Ball was the rightful Rookie of the Year last season.
Vs. Orlando - Win — Aaron Gordon. Nikola Vucevic. Umm, Dennis Scott? Does he count?
At Denver - Win — The Nuggets really posted a highlight reel of their own team getting roasted. My goodness.
Vs. Indiana Pacers - Win — And the Lakers win round one of the bouts between Paul George’s two former teams.
Vs. Dallas - Loss — Smh, LeBron still can’t post up JJ Barea.
Vs. Phoenix - Win — Modern. Erick. Dampier.
Vs. San Antonio - Win — Beating the Spurs: Still fun.
At San Antonio - Win — BEATING THE SPURS TWICE IN A ROW: EVEN MORE FUN.
At Memphis Grizzlies - Loss — I hereby declare that the actual loser of this game should take on the other team’s worst contract (For the Lakers, Deng. For Memphis, Parsons). You know you’d watch that.
Vs. Miami - Win — How often do you think Magic gives Pat Riley a hard time about his disaster of a cap sheet? Daily? Weekly? Only when he tries to send Luol Deng back?
At Houston - Win — Pretty cool that my coin can tell which games Carmelo Anthony will start in next season.
At Charlotte Hornets - Loss — Kemba Walker must really have played well in his audition for LeBron.
At Washington Wizards - Win — This outcome is obviously wrong. By this time of the season, Dwight will have caused his annual team mutiny.
At Brooklyn Nets - Loss — The D’Angelo Russell revenge games continue.
Vs. New Orleans Pelicans - Loss — Speaking of revenge games, I would not want to be in charge of guarding Julius Randle in this one. Also, please don’t boo him.
Vs. Memphis - Win — The real question of this matchup is whether Marc Gasol and/or Mike Conley will already be on the trade market by the time it takes place.
At Golden State Warriors - Win — Merry Christmas!
At Sacramento - Win — If the Lakers really want to buy low on a potential big, they could do worse than hitting up Vlade for Willie Cauley-Stein.
Vs. Los Angeles Clippers - Loss — The Clippers really fired Bruce Bowen for the mere chance of landing Kawhi next summer. All those cheap shots finally came around on him.
Vs. Sacramento - Loss — Can you blame the Lakers for being so bored in Sacramento that they’d forget to show up to the game?
Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - Loss — I can’t lie... I was pretty bummed when the all-seeing coin predicted this loss. Still, Lakers fans booing the hell out of George will be fun to watch.
Vs. New York Knicks - Loss — Always nice when the Knicks can travel to the true Mecca of basketball.
At Minnesota - Win — Here’s hoping Deng played a little bit just to tempt Thibs.
At Dallas - Loss — He’s 5’4”, LeBron. You should be able to put Barea in the post by now.
Vs. Detroit Pistons - Loss — Stan Van might by Gonedy, but some talent remains.
At Utah - Win — Donovan Mitchell is the worst Spiderman since Tobey Maguire went Goth in Spiderman 3. MY COLUMN:
Vs. Cleveland - Win — “But her emails!” - Dan Gilbert on Jeanie Buss.
Vs. Chicago Bulls - Win — The Bulls are great in that they don’t inspire a single feeling toward them as a franchise. Nothing but apathy.
At Oklahoma City - Win — The good news is Russell Westbrook gets a triple double so it’s all good in OKC.
At Houston - Win — All jokes aside about this team, but if any other GM basically swapped Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah A Moute for Carmelo Anthony and James Ennis, they’d be absolutely shredded.
Vs. Golden State - Loss — Sweeping them during the regular season would make them less likely to be lulled into a false sense of security. #Lightyears
Vs. Minnesota - Win — At halftime of this game, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns actually fight each other in the secret hallway tunnels in Staples! So that’ll be fun.
Vs. Phoenix - Loss — To continue the trend of fights during halftime, that Sreekar guy and that one lawyer Laker fan will pick up right where Towns and Butler left off.
Vs. Philadelphia 76ers - Loss — Wins like this really help Ben Simmons’ case for Rookie of the Year next year.
At Clippers - Loss — Can’t wait for Jerry West to openly opine for LeBron after this game and not get hit with a tampering fine.
At Golden State - Win — /Steph shoots poorly in this one./ /Reports surface about some ambiguous injury./
At Indiana - Loss — This might be Lance Stephenson’s only good game all year, seeing as it’s played in Indiana. Bummer it doesn’t result in a win.
At Boston Celtics - Win — Watching Celtics fans figure out how to acquire Moe Wagner, Ivica Zubac and Svi Mykhailiuk is going to be really fun to watch.
At Philadelphia - Win — What will we see more of during this game: Simmons attempts from three, or reasonable fan reactions to LeBron passing on Philly for L.A.?
At Atlanta - Loss — Impossible. Time to rethink this projection system.
Vs. Houston - Win — Nah, nevermind. Just a blip on the radar.
At New Orleans - Win — In all seriousness, New Orleans might be one of the tougher matchups for the Lakers because of how much better their frontcourt is and their guard stability if Jrue Holiday is healthy. These games will be fun.
At Memphia - Loss — Memphis games will be less fun. Because Memphis.
Vs. New Orleans - Win — Randle in Staples Center, playoff aspirations on both sides, legitimate greatness on both teams.... Man, this game should be can’t-miss television.
Vs. Milwaukee Bucks - Win — Giannis makes his annual trip to Los Angeles. Only a few more before he demands he be traded here. It’s a tradition with great players in Milwaukee, you know.
At Phoenix - Loss — The funny thing about this is: Fans in Phoenix might be as annoyed about winning as Lakers fans would be about losing this one.
Vs. Clippers - Loss — “Is Los Angeles a Clippers town now that they lost this game” is just slightly more ridiculous as people wondering that same thing because of Lob City. What a dumb storyline that was.
Vs. Denver - Loss — Look, winning is always the priority, but a close second would be putting Isaiah Thomas in as many switching situations guarding LeBron in the post as possible, no matter the result.
Vs. Boston - Win — Any season in which the Lakers sweep the Celtics is a tremendous season by itself. Doing so while both teams are good is about as good as it gets.
At Chicago - Win — Still nothing on Chicago. They are just .... there.
At Toronto - Win — A return to LeBronto should be fun.
At Detroit - Win — A tough loss for Detroit, but hey, at least they aren’t paying an injury-prone power forward the GDP of a small country over the next few yea-... wait.
At New York - Loss — Something tells me LeBron is going to do something legitimately special in this game, so I kinda doubt the coin here.
At Milwaukee - Win — Okay fine if the Lakers can’t convince Giannis to leave, I guess I’ll settle with Khris Middleton.
Vs. Brooklyn - Loss — D’Angelo Russell and Babe Ruth is basically the pointing Spidermen meme of curses on franchises.
Vs. Sacramento - Loss — The Kings beating the Lakers in the middle of an insane playoff race would qualify as the greatest moment in that franchise’s history since the early 2000’s. Man, that poor fan base.
Vs. Washington - Win — Death, taxes and the Washington Wizards talking a bunch and not living up to it.
At Utah - Loss — With so few games left and the playoff race as close as it undoubtedly will be, this loss would really, really hurt.
Vs. Charlotte - Loss — Not great, Bob!
At New Orleans - Win — Alright, maybe the Lakers are back in this thing, but we’ll need a crazy streak.
At Oklahoma City - Win — Okay... Still not going to get my hopes up, though.
Vs. Golden State - Win — /Raises eyebrow
At Clippers - Win — /THERE GOES THE OTHER EYEBROW
Vs. Utah - Win — YOU GUYS.
Vs. Portland - Win — THANKS, DAME! I KNEW HARRISON WAS RIGHT ABOUT YOU!
The Lakers finish their season 46-36, putting them at risk of missing the playoffs. Unfortunately, as this is science, there is literally no chance whatsoever that this model is anything other than 100 percent correct. Sorry, Lakers fans. we may as well not even tune in this season. Either that or we have to hope the bar to make the playoffs lowers next year (it took 47 wins to make it last season).
Don’t bother arguing in the comments, either. This is math we’re talking about. Take it up with whichever monster invented statistics.