Next Up for the Los Angeles Lakers: The San Antonio Spurs

Well, that didn’t last long. After a thrilling opening-night upset against their hallway rivals, the LA Clippers, the Lakers turned right around and got routed by the Golden State Warriors 125-94. 

Before we unpack what it all means, full credit must be given to the Warriors and especially Klay Thompson, who had a career shooting night with 38 total points. The entire Warriors squad was terrific and definitely had a touch of the same high-energy, “we’re ready to ball” determination the Lakers exhibited in their opener the previous night. Golden State is for real. 

So the Warriors got the win and showed the basketball world they consider themselves legit contenders this season and played a game to prove it. 

Which leaves Lakers fans right back at square one, which is ... what kind of a team is this? Is it the team whose bench rocked the Clippers to the tune of 76 points? Or the one that got steamrolled by the white-hot Warriors? 

Both apparently. But a successful team can’t seesaw between those two extremes. 

In no particular order, here are some issues I think need to be addressed so the team can get some winning consistency.

Every analyst in the world pegged the Lakers preseason as a defensively thin team. That didn’t show up so much against the Clippers but boy howdy did it in Oakland. 

Transition defense was a problem last year, and it has reared its ugly head again. That must be shored up. Kurt Rambis has his work cut out for him. He will have no shortage of teaching opportunities when the Lakers review the tape.

Not only was the transition defense bad, which kills you against a lightning-fast team like the Warriors, but there were a number of missed assignments in the defensive half court. I saw several occasions when a Golden State player got right to the basket and the Lakers stood around afterw...

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