The infallible Yahoo! Answers defines a trap game as one "that is played before or after a tough or rival opponent. Teams have a tendency to look past an opponent preparing for the following week's game, or have a letdown after beating a tough or rival opponent."
One of the hallmarks of the Los Angeles Lakers is falling into trap games.
This season, there already have been trap game losses to Indiana, Milwaukee, LA Clippers, Sacramento, Charlotte and Cleveland.
Yes, it's hard to believe that a third of the Lakers' losses this season have come to that group of bumbling teams, but the trap games can get the best of any elite team on any given night.
The Lakers are in a heated race for positioning in the Western Conference playoff picture. Interspersed with crucial games are easily-overlooked games that Phil Jackson's squad will be foolish to sleepwalk through.
Here are six potential trap games remaining on the Lakers schedule.
After Sunday's crucial win in Oklahoma City, the Lakers travel to Minneapolis to face the woeful Wolves. Minny is a team in flux with several newly-acquired parts and a 14-46 record.
It would be devastating for the Lakers to earn that hard-fought, playoff-like game on the Thunder's court, then turn around and lose to the Timberwolves.
LA's bigs must play well against Kevin Love, who is coming off a monstrous 37/23 game against the Warriors.
The Bobcats' mystifying success (8-3 in the last six seasons) over the Lakers continued when they met last.
On Valentine's Day, the Bobcats clobbered the Champions, who were on the tail end of a back-to-back in Orlando and Charlotte.
This time, the Lakers will be at home on a Friday night, in their element and awaiting their Sunday showdown with the Spurs. My concern is that the Lake Show will be a little too comfortable in this game.
They have the typical lackadaisical first quarter, trail by 7-10 points, get down by 15 in the second, then expend too much energy getting back to even by halftime. They spend the second half clawing into the lead, then take control to win, but only after working way too hard.
The Lakers will lose this game or the Spurs game, if not both.
Same drill as the March 1 game against Minny. The Lakers are coming off a game against Orlando before this, though they will have two days off in between.
The Lakers should have no problem winning this one, especially at STAPLES Center.
The Clippers might have a crummy record, but they have given the Lakers everything they can handle this season.
Last Friday, the Lakers waxed their in-arena rival by 23, but their first two meetings belonged to the Clippers.
Only a last second layup by Derek Fisher saved the Lakers in the first meeting. The second time they met, the Clippers curiously pulled away from the Lakers and won by seven.
This game lies right before the Lakers enter a five-game stretch against West playoff teams: New Orleans, Dallas, Utah, Denver and Utah again.
The New Orleans and Dallas games could be crucial for playoff seeding, so the Lakers have to make sure that they don't give any cheap games away before then.
The Lakers depart on a short two-game roadie beginning in Oakland. They need to control the pace of this game against the uptempo Warriors, so that they don't tire early in the game and get behind.
This game should be a gimme for the Lakers, who will need every win they can get to secure the two-seed in the West.
This game precedes yet another important tussle with the Blazers in the Rose Garden, an arena that has haunted the Lakers recently.
This game falls on the last night of the regular season, a night after the Lakers play a presumably monumental game with the Spurs. This game will either mean everything for positioning, or it could mean nothing at all.
The Lakers will be tempted to phone this one in and look ahead to their round one matchup. Furthermore, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom will probably see a lot of the bench against the Kings.
This game will mean a lot to the subs, who are vital to playoff success. This game against the Kings could ostensibly be a practice game for the bench to gather some confidence before the playoffs.
With 21 games left, only six come against teams that even qualify for trap games.
The other 15 games come against San Antonio twice, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas twice, Orlando, Portland twice, Phoenix, New Orleans, Utah twice, Denver and Oklahoma City.
That's a pretty rough stretch run for the Champs to find their playoff groove.
The fewer the trap games remain on the schedule, the more important they become; they represent fewer easily winnable games that allow the Lakers to take a deep breath between tough games.
The Lakers' attention to detail and focus will be tested in the six trap games left. How they fare in those games will tell me a lot about how much this team wants to complete its Three-Peat.