After he bullied his way to the basket Russell Westbrook pretended to rock a baby to sleep. After colliding with LeBron James on a backdoor move, he let out a piercing scream.
In the third quarter, after Troy Brown Jr. made a three-pointer, Westbrook celebrated by pumping his fists in the air while riding a stationary bike behind the bench.
On November 26, Westbrook came off the bench for the first time since November 26, 2008, realizing coach Darvin Ham’s hope that the former MVP would feel more at ease in his role as captain of the team’s reserves.
And as little as the Lakers have seen of him since they acquired him, Westbrook displayed the high-speed dynamo they expected all along.
Organizing and establishing a rapid tempo is Westbrook’s “special power,” as described by Ham. “I anticipate great success for him in that position.”
However, despite this positive development, the Lakers still lost (111-102) to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The last time the Lakers started a season 0-5 was in 2014-15 when they went on to a 21-61 record. The Lakers won despite James’ 28 points and Westbrook’s 18, although the 25 points scored by Minnesota came in part because of the 22 turnovers the Lakers committed (five by Westbrook).
The turnovers were the most glaring statistic,” Ham stated with a sigh. “Turnovers are the problem.”
Twenty-nine points from Anthony Edwards, twenty-two points and twenty-one rebounds from Rudy Gobert, and twenty-one points and fourteen assists from Karl-Anthony Towns.
Ham has expressed confidence that Westbrook will “thrive” off the bench for the Lakers moving ahead.
Westbrook has always been “the guy” who will “do whatever for the team,” as he put it. In order to do what the coach asks of me, “I’ll sacrifice whatever it is that needs to be sacrificed, portions of my game that I’ve done for years.”
Davis was doubtful to play on Friday and took part in the team’s shootaround, but he was held out of the lineup for the first time this season due to chronic lower back problems.
The back, as you well know, is a tough thing. Before the game, Ham remarked, “It felt fantastic when he woke up this morning, and he went from activity to inactivity this afternoon.” The thought process was, “Why to risk it?” because it is the fifth game and “clearly you’re going to need him in a huge manner to be healthy.”
After the team bused to and from the Pechanga Resort in Temecula (115 miles from the team’s practice site in El Segundo) during training camp, Davis stated his back began troubling him, despite his desire to play in all 82 games this season.
Russell Westbrook, a player for the Los Angeles Lakers, takes a shot on Friday night as his team loses to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
James advised that the player do whatever is in his best interest health-wise and psychologically. Everything else will be meaningless if his mind is gone. Because of this, he must have faith in himself.
He is interested in participating in each and every sport. Definitely, he is eager to play a role in our team’s success. Unfortunately, the last few years have been rough on him, so he needs to have faith in himself and his team, and avoid putting his body in harm’s path.
The Lakers are hoping that Davis’s rest will allow him to participate in Sunday’s game against the Nuggets in Los Angeles.
According to Ham, the team-oriented attitude he expresses is shared by everyone on the squad. “But don’t attempt to be a hero, I warned him. We share a common humanity. Put your best foot forward every day.”
In the dying seconds of the Lakers’ 111-102 loss in Minnesota, forward LeBron James walks onto the court.
Brown put up 12 points, sinking 4 of 6 three-point attempts. Austin Reaves was also perfect from deep, going for a perfect 4-0, but the rest of the Lakers went just 3-20, with James and Westbrook combining for a 2-for-10 performance.
“As it turns out, I’m not too disappointed with our performance tonight. We were focused on the correct things,” Westbrook added. The return of AD and the restoration of player health are also crucial, in my opinion. However, until then, no one will have any pity on us. Somehow, we have to figure out how to beat the other team.
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