The Warriors were crushed by the Spurs on Tuesday night, 129-100.
According to former Warriors forward Antawn Jamison, the loss highlighted the void left behind with Andrew Bogut's departure.
"They were such in a comfort zone when they had Bogut and they knew that he would pick up some of the deficiencies if guys got blown by -- he was always the rim protector," Jamison explained on KNBR 1050. "Anderson Varejao and Zaza (Pachulia) are great defenders but as far as protecting that rim, they are not Bogut.
"And I think now they are kind of realizing how much they miss his dynamic as far as controlling that paint and being satisfied with just 'that's my job -- is to make sure I make it difficult for guys in the paint' ... it's the first game of the season, there's no need to push the panic button."
Back in early September, Steve Kerr shared his one concern for the upcoming season:
“The thing that’s different will be a lack of rim protection,” Kerr told CSNBayArea.com. “We had great rim protection from Bogut and Ezeli, and both those guys are gone. Zaza’s a very good defender, but he’s more of a positional guy than a shot blocker.
“So there’s definitely adjustments we’ll have to make, even schematically. We’ll have some growing pains, especially on defense, as we try to make sure we get everything right and comfortable.”
Pachulia registered just two points and three rebounds in 20 minutes, and turned the ball over three times.
Andre Iguodala scored just two points in 27 minutes off the bench. He committed three fouls and was a -28 for the game.
Ian Clark missed all four of his 3-point attempts and was a team-worst -29, while Shaun Livingston was a -15.
"The Warriors' bench to me is going to be the biggest key this year because other than that Big Four offensively, nobody was bringing firepower off the bench," Jamison declared. "We know what Livingston and Iguodala can bring to the table, but somebody else off that bench really has to come in and step up and pick up the slack as well.
"I'm not worried at all. It just put in perspective that they really miss Bogut, and the bench needs to step up."
Could JaVale McGee ultimately be the answer at center?
"If he's able to focus and realize that he can contribute so much to this team with his length and his athletic ability, if he can be one of those guys that come off that bench and control that paint, I can see him eventually becoming a starter or getting starter minutes," Jamison answered.