The Lakers started the year the way the last one ended, losing to the Nuggets and having more questions than answers on how to right the ship.
While the result is disappointing, it's not surprising given Denver's dominance in the NBA. The Nuggets have an MVP in Nikola Jokić, a future star in Jamal Murray and a perfect supporting cast of Michael Porter Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon which means not many teams are going to leave Denver with a win.
One of the players L.A. is relying on to make a leap and help them win a title is Austin Reaves. The third-year player had a serviceable game on Tuesday but struggled offensively, shooting 36% from the field. Reaves acknowledged Denver's dominance after the matchup.
"They played a good game," Reaves said. “There's, obviously, a lot of things we need to work on offensively and defensively. But we had some good stuff tonight as well. So, we'll go back and watch film and get better from it but tip your hat. They made shots when they needed to make shots."
While the purple and gold have lost five straight games against Denver, every game has been competitive. The Lakers continued to trim the deficit down to a few points, but every time they did, Denver went on a run to get the lead back up to double digits. You have to give the champs credit, they never let up or folded, protected their home and demonstrated why they were the best team last season.
With the game now in the rearview mirror, the Lakers have to keep their eyes ahead and focus on Phoenix, another tough conference opponent that presents a slew of challenges, most notably Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.
If the Lakers don't want to start the season 0-2 for the third year in a row, then they can't have another poor start to the game, Anthony Davis needs to show up in the second half and the bench has to give more than 26 points.
This early, everything is looked at with a microscopic lens and one must be careful of making absolute statements off an incredibly small sample size, but Reaves is right. After one game, there's a laundry list of things to fix. The good news is the resources are there to make the right adjustments and get things back on track on Thursday.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.