Lakers are ready to face harder schedule in December, one game at a time

December presents the Lakers their first chance to get punched in the face and see how quickly they can bounce back up and throw a counter jab. Through 20 games, their overwhelming size and sheer talent have bullied teams at the bottom of the standings like they should have. But that’s about to change, as the opponents who ultimately will have a say in whether or not the Lakers do make it to May and June are waiting right around the corner. And they are looking for a fight, which means the Lakers can’t take anyone lightly.

“We don’t look past anybody. We focus on the opponent at hand,” Danny Green said following the team’s loss to Dallas, adding that the Lakers only pay attention to their schedule on a game-by-game basis. Once one game is done they look at their next opponent, but not before.

“Today was the most important game of the season, and now the next one in Denver is going to be the most important game of the season,” Green said to emphasize the Lakers’ approach.

One game at a time is a tired and probably overused expression, but it suits a Lakers team that has knocked down every obstacle before them up to this point. How they learn to navigate and swim against troubled water over the month ahead — and beyond — will tell us a lot about whether they have what it takes to reach their ultimate goal.