October 18, 2021

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“Westbrook is going to get us back to being one of the best”

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Russell Westbrook

“Westbrook is going to get us back to being one of the best”

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The LA Lakers had an unexpectedly underwhelming title defense in the 2020-21 NBA campaign. It led to them acquiring Russell Westbrook this offseason. Head coach Frank Vogel believes Westbrook’s addition will put them back on top next season. Here’s what Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported:

“We were a great running team two years ago,” said coach Frank Vogel. “We took a step back last year. I think [Westbrook is] going to get us back to being one of the best.”

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been the two biggest stars for the LA Lakers over the last two years. The duo missed a combined 63 games during the 2020-21 season due to injuries.

The team desperately needed a third-star at that point. Kyle Kuzma never blossomed into that player because of his inconsistent performances. Dennis Schroder failed to replicate his heroics from the 2019-20 campaign.

The Lakers ended up falling into the play-in tournament bracket, finishing seventh in the Western Conference. They qualified for the playoffs but endured a first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns in six games.


Russell Westbrook willing to do whatever it takes to help LA Lakers win a title

Russell Westbrook #0, Trevor Ariza #1, LeBron James #6 and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook #0, Trevor Ariza #1, LeBron James #6 and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Russell Westbrook’s addition to the LA Lakers was heavily criticized. Several analysts felt his ball-dominant style of play would create issues between him, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, the three players have emphasized that they are willing to make sacrifices to find success together.

Head coach Frank Vogel said the same about Russell Westbrook during his sit-down with Sports Illustrated:

“He’s willing to do whatever we ask him to do to help this team win a championship. It’s the only thing that matters to him. He’s not concerned with anything else.”

Russell Westbrook’s pace is something Frank Vogel has spoken a lot about of late. He believes that would benefit the LA Lakers. He can push the ball up quicker than anyone else and create scoring opportunities before opponents settle in defense.

Frank Vogel says Russ dominated his first practice with the Lakers “He’s just a blur out there… He was just getting in the paint and finding people for threes all practice long.” (h/t @hmfaigen ) https://t.co/71sQIymx0T

It is something the LA Lakers struggled with last campaign, especially with James and Davis on the sidelines for large swathes of the season. The three players are yet to play a game together after Westbrook and James were given a rest for the Lakers’ first two preseason games.

They are likely to play a couple of games before the preseason starts. It will give Lakers fans an early glimpse of what Russell Westbrook brings to the table.


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