LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the 3rd quarter of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


  • The Lakers struggled to keep up with the Golden State Warriors on opening night
  • The Lakers' current roster lacks playoff-caliber talent
  • Rob Pelinka will need to make some changes by the trade deadline or look ahead to next season

The Los Angeles Lakers fought hard on opening night to spoil the Golden State Warriors' ring and banner ceremony, but were simply outgunned 123-109–possibly a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.

Lakers fans were a bit more optimistic heading into the season after retooling their roster this offseason, prioritizing on improving their perimeter shooting and depth in the frontcourt.

To their credit, the current roster that they have has a lot more potential than last season's since they were stacked with too much vets and lacked youth.

This time around though, the Lakers seemingly do not have enough veterans to help out in their chase for an NBA championship.

Bringing in guys like Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kendrick Nunn and Damian Jones via free agency were big gets for them due to their skills being complementary to their stars.

Therein lies the problem for Los Angeles, the injection of youth to an aging core of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook is lacking on the talent side.

The most hardcore NBA fans are aware of what Walker, Toscano-Anderson, Nunn and Jones bring on the energy side, but against the elite and championship-level competition, the Lakers will need to explore their options as the season progresses.

Applying the adage "hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard" is applicable in some matches, but on the path to a championship, a team needs to be stacked with as much talent as possible.

The Lakers currently do not have that.

Against the Warriors, their Big Three combined for 77 of their 109 points while Nunn was the only bench player who was in double figures.

The only reason they were able to keep in step with the champions was that the Warriors' offense stagnated for a bit in the fourth quarter.

It should be noted that the Lakers shot 10-of-40 from three-point land while allowing the Warriors to go for 16-of-45.

Counting on James to lead the team in scoring night in and night out is not a feasible approach to winning the title by any stretch of the imagination and Lakers fans are already cautious about believing in Davis thanks to his laundry list of injuries.

Inside The NBA's Charles Barkley explained the Lakers' predicament in the upcoming 81 games perfectly as he asked what was different about the Lakers other than some new faces on the bench.

A healthy youth movement lacking in talent comparative to the rest of the field is not going to get them deep enough in the playoffs and the same applies to them having talent, but they are unhealthy enough to play for much of the season.

All in all, general manager Rob Pelinka is going to have to shake up the roster in some way that either makes them a title contender by the February 9 trade deadline or prepare for next season as early as now.

The Lakers' schedule is not going to get any easier as they next face the rejuvenated Los Angeles Clippers who are welcoming back Kawhi Leonard into the fold alongside John Wall on Friday, October 21 at 10:00 PM ET.

Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives toward the basket as Lonnie Walker IV #4 and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers defend during the 1st half of the game at Chase Center on October 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images