Russell Westbrook wasn’t great preseason for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he’s not yet pressing the panic button.
The Lakers have stumbled upon a 0-5 preseason record, with Westbrook playing in three of those games. The former MVP only hit 25 percent of his shots and has more ball losses (20) than assists (15). Westbrook joked earlier this preseason that luckily preseason doesn’t count and he’s doing exactly what is intended during shows – working out the kinks.
But alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the first time on Tuesday, there still seemed to be a lack of solidarity between the new star trio. Westbrook didn’t score until the middle of the second quarter and the Warriors began an explosive 21-3 run with the Lakers three stars on the ground.
“There will be ups, downs and adversities in the season,” Westbrook told reporters on Tuesday, October 12th. “We will grow together on the same side. That’s all that counts.”
Westbrook was asked when he thinks things are going to click, but he had no answer.
“I know that is a question everyone asks themselves over and over again. Nobody really has an answer to that. We’ll just play like any other team and we’ll find out. We don’t have to find out on October 18th or 19th, whenever the first game is. “
The Lakers find their flow with an almost entirely new roster, with Westbrook being the most important addition as ball handler and moderator. The Lakers aren’t rushing the process and Lakers coach Frank Vogel believes it could take the entire regular season to really reach their potential.
“It could take the whole year before we are really at our best,” Vogel said before the game. “Ideally, we’re best when we go to the playoffs. But we have the mindset that we can take off right away and come out really strong and click things as well as possible. “
The Lakers are still the favorites in the Western Conference with +195. The Warriors (+550) and Clippers (+550) are next.
James is still the undisputed leader in LA, but he’s not known for having the best body language on the court when things go wrong. James knows there will be some growing pains and is committed to leading by example.
“As a leader, my only job is to keep myself out of frustration,” said James. “If I don’t get frustrated, I think it will trickle down to everyone else. I’ve never been someone who agrees not to be excellent. But I understand that things also take time. As long as I keep the main thing as the main thing and stay calm with everything that’s going on with our ball club, we’ll be fine. “
The Lakers have another prep game against the Kings on Thursday to set things right. The season kicks off for LA against Golden State on October 19th at the Staples Center.
CONTINUE READING: Brown’s starter was announced by Kevin Stefanski