Russell Westbrook's Lakers debut was downright ugly, but please hold your overreactions until a later date

SAN FRANCISCO — Oh you believed Russell Westbrook would have a pedestrian Los Angeles Lakers launching? Come on, now. This is the Lakers we’re speaking about.

Westbrook took the court for the very first time in a Lakers uniform throughout Friday’s 121-114 preseason loss to the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, and it certainly didn’t go the manner in which he and the Lakers had actually hoped. Westbrook played just in the very first half, completing with 2 points, 7 rebounds, 4 helps and 6 turnovers on 1-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes.

Four of those turnovers can be found in simply over one minute of video game time throughout an especially rough stretch of the very first quarter.

Aside from the turnovers, which Vogel credited to Westbrook being too unselfish sometimes, the Lakers’ latest All-Star appeared out of sorts on offense, not able to complete at the rim or on his couple of pull-up jumpers. He likewise stopped working to try a 3-pointer, highlighting the spacing concerns that lots of forecasted when he signed with the Lakers. Three of his helps began swing passes to Kent Bazemore for open 3-pointers, and the 4th began a shift lob to DeAndre Jordan.

As anticipated, Lakers coach Frank Vogel staggered Westbrook and LeBron James, however — likewise as anticipated — they didn’t look really fluid on the offending end in their minutes together. There was a great deal of your turn-my turn, and the Lakers just created 21 points in 14 minutes (a rate of 72 points per 48 minutes) with both Westbrook and James on the flooring.

Now that you have actually got all the awful information from Westbrook’s launching, do yourself a favor. Throw everything in the trash bin.

“We’re not gonna figure it out right now. Everything’s not gonna be figured out in the next week or two,” Westbrook stated after the video game. “We’ve got a long year. This is the preseason — first game for a lot of us since April, May or something like that. We’ll figure it out.”

Did we anticipate some clunkiness as Westbrook gets utilized to betting his 4th group in 4 seasons? Of course. Will it improve? Undoubtedly. Not just will the chemistry in between Westbrook and James enhance, however Westbrook likewise functions as a contingency in case James or Anthony Davis misses out on substantial time.

“We were really excited about what [James and Westbrook] look like together,” Vogel stated prior to Friday’s video game. “But obviously having a third player of a star caliber like Russell is definitely going to help us either in minutes when LeBron (James) is out or help us withstand potential injuries like we had last year, where we struggled.”

James missed out on 26 of 28 video games from late-March to mid-May last season, and the Lakers went 12-16 throughout that stretch. Davis played simply 5 minutes in the last 2 video games of the group’s first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns due to a groin concern. Adding another gamer efficient in bring the offending load must assist L.A. prevent such slides this season if injuries need to rear their awful head.

As for the on-court fit, we have actually seen brand-new colleagues need substantial time to get used to both James and Westbrook in the past, so it stands to factor that this collaboration will take a while to coalesce. But for 2 previous MVPs with Hall of Fame qualifications, you need to think they will figure things out earlier instead of later on.

“I’m sure they’ll be fantastic,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated of the James-Westbrook collaboration. “You’re talking about two perennial All-Stars, guys who are really, really smart players, guys who can guard multiple positions. … The Lakers have been a big, really powerful team under Frank [Vogel], and they’ve added more power and strength. I think LeBron and Russell will be great together.”

Ultimately James and Westbrook require to get some associates together in video game scenarios, which’s precisely what preseason contests like Friday’s are for.

“The more minutes we get on the floor, we’ll be able to log those minutes and see what works for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of myself and Russ,” James stated after the video game. “We’ve got to log the minutes first, though.”



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