SAN ANTONIO - Where do the Lakers turn from here?
Maybe Kobe Bryant can provide some answers whenever he decides to tweet gain, but with the Black Mamba holed up somewhere in Newport Beach and silenced by his self-imposed gag order, the Lakers were on their own Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, literally and figuratively.
Game 2 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Spurs bore little resemblance to Game 1, but the outcome was a spitting image in the Lakers' 102-91 loss.
And it leaves the Lakers in a quandary much more complicated than just the 0-2 hole they find themselves in as they limp home to Los Angeles.
They hobbled onto their charter flight Wednesday unsure who their biggest foe is: The Spurs, or an unforgiving run of luck that continues to wreak havoc on their minds and body.
Not having Bryant was bad enough against the deep, talented Spurs.
But then Jodie Meeks went down in Game 1 with an ankle sprain, Steve Blake suffered a strained hamstring Wednesday and Steve Nash was so banged up after playing Games 1 and 2 he'll undergo another epidural Friday.
"It hurts to see guys go down," Lakers center Dwight Howard conceded.
And the way they were hobbling around the locker room, you wonder if they'll have enough players to field a full team in Game 3.
"It feels that way," Nash said. "I don't want to jump the gun because you never know how we respond to treatments and stuff on Friday. It certainly hasn't been good and hasn't bode well for us with the way things have worked out for us."
Is anyone healthy enough to slow down Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker and the runaway train the supposedly vulnerable Spurs looked like as they flattened the Lakers the first two games?
"We either overcome it or go home," Howard said. "And we don't want to go home."
They may not have much choice.
It's not like the Lakers played bad Wednesday.
And it's not like they didn't make some positive adjustments between Games 1 and 2.
They just couldn't make the biggest tweak of all - flip the final score in their favor.
Or stay out of harm's way.
Not with Ginobili resuming his role as a Lakers nemesis, coming off the bench to throw 3-point daggers and thread pinpoint passes and show everyone just what the Spurs were missing while he was out with a leg injury.
Or with Tony Parker playing like Tony Parker again, scoring 24 of his 28 points in the second half as the Spurs pulled away.
And certainly not with the Spurs throwing player after player at the Lakers, each of them running the Spurs' system to perfection as they methodically ground away at the Lakers.
"It's always Parker, Ginobili and Tim Duncan, but then somebody else picks up the slack," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.
And they attacked the Lakers from various angles and entry points, the steady punches of Gary Neal and Danny Green and Tiago Splitter and Cory Neal and Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard pounding into the Lakers midsection until - BOOM - Parker or Duncan or Ginobili sent them sprawling with a left cross.
It's a collective effort in which role players born and bred in Gregg Popovich's way of doing things can beat you just as easily as the stars.
"It's great continuity," Metta World Peace said.
Wednesday it was Leonard with 16 points and Bonner getting under Howard's skin with 10 points a rugged style of play that visibly frustrated the Lakers center.
By Game 3, who knows who will step up?
"They're no-name guys play their system with a confidence," said World Peace.
And with each passing game, Ginobili gets a little better, Parker looks a little more like his old self and the Spurs raise their level of play.
"And right now, they more efficient than us," D'Antoni said.
Now the series shifts back to Los Angeles, the Lakers can only hope playing at home provides the necessary lift needed to ensure they make it back to San Antonio for Game 5.
That might be wishful thinking, especially with a depleted Lakers roster shrinking by the day.
But it's all the Lakers got.
Unless Kobe Bryant decides to lift the gag order and provide some answers.
Or better yet, suit up.