Are Early Struggles of Russell Westbrook a Concern for Lakers Fans?
Russell Westbrook hasn’t performed to the gold standard of Laker’s distinction so far in a very early NBA season. The team’s 0-2 start is cause for fans of the franchise to be concerned for the span of the season. Nevertheless, while some enthusiasts assume that Westbrook will gradually find his role within the team, a collective of Laker Nation isn’t sold on Russ’s fit in the group.
Russell Westbrook Early Lakers Struggles
On the opening night of the NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers endured a defeat from the Golden State Warriors. Although Steph Curry wasn’t pleased with how he shot the ball, he produced a triple-double with 21 points, steering his team to victory.
Both Anthony Davis and LeBron James played a vital role in the Lakers’ progress that night. The duo combined for 67 of the Lakers 114 points and 22 of the team’s 44 rebounds. Two out of the Laker’s newly formed “big three” balled out, omitting Russell Westbrook and his inadequate play standing out like pair of black Air Force Ones in the middle of a pickup game.
Westbrook shot 4-13 from the field, going 0-3 from the three-point line. Additionally, the new Laker point guard harmonized his four assists with four turnovers for the evening. The 9 point display led to a -23 +/- rating, the lowest of the night out of all players.
In the second game of the season, Russell’s woes recapitulated, only this time, from the free-throw line. Out of 8 attempts from free throw land, he managed to make only 3 of his tries.
Westbrook found success penetrating the Phoenix Suns defense and played more aggressively, driving to the line and not settling for jump shots. However, he continued his scoreless efforts from the three-point line shooting 0-3 from beyond the arc.
Fans and Media Sound Off on Early Performances
Fans of the franchise have become vocal on social media about Westbrook and his initial performances in the early season. Statmuse displayed Westbrook’s recent play, and Lakers fans sounded off about how they feel after watching Laker games.
Russell Westbrook after 2 games:
0-7 3P pic.twitter.com/N8YSe0pJrJ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 23, 2021
Lakers writer Karin Abcarians weighed in on the topic of Westbrook. As a close follower of the organization, Karin gave an expert analysis on the subject of Westbrook as a member of the Lakers. She noted that her expectations of the superstar would feature early growing pains.
“I expected Russell to start as slow as he has. There have been both impressive and frustrating moments. Having been a fan of Russell for so long, I know he can turn it on and will find his groove. It won’t always instantly click and nobody should’ve expected him to come out playing excellent,” said Karin.
“It takes time to click with a new team, especially if you’re on yet another new team so fast like Russell is. In the game against the Suns, he showed signs of improvement already and seemed to be getting to the basket a lot better. One thing that has been very frustrating is the turnovers he does, which I hope will improve with time. He’s been missing a lot of easy shots, so I think it may be one of those “need to see the ball get in the hoop multiple times” things with Russell to ignite a consistent rhythm for him. He’s going to be fine. I’m not worried….yet at least”
Premature Decision Making
While Karin provided positive analysis, some Laker fans are already calling for a Westbrook trade. Although the season is young, some Laker fans have seen enough, stating that Russell isn’t the fit that the team needs at the point guard position.
As the season continues to play out, expect both the media and fans to look at the play of Westbrook through a fine lens. Primarily because with LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook leading the team, the squad will fall short without a championship at the end of the season.