The Los Angeles Lakers don’t seem overly concerned after losing to the Golden State Warriors 121-114 in the 2021 season opener. Despite Russell Westbrook struggling mightily in his debut with L.A., LeBron James remains confident in the new-look Lakers.

James started his 19th NBA season strong with 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Anthony Davis added 33 points and 11 rebounds of his own. Westbrook, on the other hand, scored only eight points on 13 field-goal attempts, and the Lakers were outscored by 23 points during the point guard’s 35 minutes of action.

James told reporters he assured Westbrook it was just one game and not to be too hard on himself.

“It’s challenging to go into a new system and trying to fit in but also bring what you bring to the table at a high level to fit out as well,” James said. “And if there's three guys on this team that shouldn't be worried about not fitting in, it's probably myself, AD and Russ. Obviously we're going to do whatever it takes to help the team win, but for us three, we need to fit out as well.”

The off-season addition of Westbrook gave the Lakers arguably the most talented starting lineup in the Western Conference. Los Angeles is a heavy betting favorite to reach the 2022 NBA Finals, though questions remain about Westbrook’s fit alongside James and Davis.

Those concerns were quickly realized in the first game of the season. The Lakers were defeated even though Davis and James shot a combined 57.1% from the field and Stephen Curry was limited to 21 points on 21 field-goal attempts.

Used to running the offense, Westbrook was ineffective off the ball with James and Davis on the court. Golden State dared him to shoot, and Westbrook acquiesced by missing all four of his three-point attempts. Los Angeles’ defense also faltered down the stretch with Westbrook on the floor.

The Lakers had been winning for most of the game and owned a nine-point lead with a little more than 13 minutes left in regulation.

“Him more than anybody, it’s going to be an adjustment period,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s coming into our culture, our system. He’s the new guy, and he's got to find his way. It’s difficult, when you're used to being the guy who has the ball most nights, to be able to play off of others like Bron and AD. So it's just a little bit different for him. He's going to be great for us, but it's going to be an adjustment period.”

One loss doesn’t change the Lakers’ title chances. Los Angeles is still a +195 favorite to win the West at DraftKings Sportsbook. Golden State is second with +550 odds.

A soft schedule could allow the Lakers to keep their heads above water while Westbrook finds his footing. After hosting the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and Sunday, the Lakers play six straight games against teams that missed the 2021 playoffs. That includes four matchups with the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, the West’s two worst teams.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in five years last season with the Washington Wizards.

LeBron James Russell Westbrook Lakers LeBron James #6 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers on the basketball court together during the second half of a preseason basketball game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on October 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images