So.... that happened. The Lakers got off to a great start on MLK Day at home against Golden State, but ultimately blew a 16 point halftime lead, then an 11 point margin after three quarters, ultimately losing 115-113 to the Golden State Warriors.
What happened? How a bad alchemy of bad offense led to easier opportunities for the Warriors... or was it bad defense letting the Warriors score too much and then set their defense?
It was also a little different, not just because the Lakers lost, but because the rotation was different. Very little Markieff Morris, and no Talen Horton-Tucker. Is this a sign of things to come?
From there, we turn to the road trip. Last season, the Lakers made a point of never losing two straight. And ultimately, they were very successful at limiting consecutive losses. So the big question isn't necessarily what they did against Golden State, it's how they respond. Especially since a game in Milwaukee, thanks to COVID-19, will have a much more neutral-court feel to it, as all NBA games this season do. That might make it a more accurate barometer of where these teams stand relative to each other. Same goes for Boston, same goes for Philly later in the trip. We could learn some stuff about the Lakers over the next two weeks.
How much do these games matter?
Finally, it's a quick look at the MVP race in the VERY, VERY, almost LAUGHABLY early going... but in a season this disjointed, with so much in flux thanks to the pandemic messing with rosters and game schedules, then the big trade between Houston and Brooklyn, no real early narrative has emerged. And for an award that is driven largely by narrative, that matters.