There has been a lot of Russell Westbrook slander since he joined the LA Lakers, mainly because of his turnover rate. Many have called for him to be traded, believing Russ is not a good fit because the team have had enough time to build chemistry yet are not winning as many games as they should.
In the Lakers’ last game against the Sacramento Kings, Russ had zero turnovers while playing 30+ minutes for the first time since 2013. Following that performance, former NBA player Kendrick Perkins changed his mind about Westbrook’s fit with the Lakers.
Perk has been critical of Westbrook’s performance and once called for the Lakers to break up the Big 3. But on First Take, after the Lakers win, he believes Russ is the solution for the Purple and Gold.
“He is gonna be the solution. Here’s the thing about Russell Westbrook, the thing that we all have to realize. You said this on a podcast, ‘when a person shows you who they are you have to believe them.’ And this is not a knock on Russell Westbrook but Russell Westbrook is who he is. There’s no in-between with him.”
“He’s going to swing for the fences, that’s why he lives by the motto ‘why not?'” Perkins added.
“At the end of the day, I know Russell Westbrook has got a lot of criticisms, and rightfully so. Russell Westbrook had to agree to this trade. He knew going to team up with Anthony Davis and LeBron James, that is was gonna be a lot of pressure. He knew that it was going to be championship or bust.”
Posing that Russ is the solution for this Lakers team might be a bit of a stretch. Understandably, the Lakers will have a better chance of winning if he takes better care of the ball, but that will not fix all the issues the Lakers are facing.
Russell Westbrook gets better as the season progresses
Lakers fans might have seen the worst of Russell Westbrook as he seems to get better further into the season. He had the same problems last season with the Washington Wizards but helped them reach the playoffs.
While Russ might develop better chemistry with the team, it will be a difficult run for the Lakers because they will have one of the most difficult schedules. Failure to take advantage of their fairly easy schedule early on might pose a problem for the Purple and Gold down the stretch.
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So far this season, Russ is averaging 19.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.1 assists while shooting 45.2% from the field. He is starting to settle in nicely and might be a significant contributor to the team if they can be patient with him.