The Los Angeles Lakers’ resolution to rid themselves of Russell Westbrook has paid dividends to this point.
With out him, the crew is 4-1 and simply recorded a legitimately spectacular come-from-behind victory in opposition to a Dallas Mavericks group that made it to the Western Convention Finals final season.
After getting dealt away by the Lakers and purchased out by the Utah Jazz, Westbrook joined the Clippers. How has he fared with them? It has been one thing of a blended bag.
The Clippers are 0-2 within the Russell Westbrook Period, with each outings being offensively-spectacular and defensively-porous.
And whereas Westbrook’s numbers look advantageous, 17.0 factors, 9.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in two video games, it’s laborious to disregard what occurred within the Clippers’ most up-to-date loss in opposition to the Denver Nuggets.
Head coach Ty Lue opted to bench Westbrook late within the recreation on Sunday. Afterward, he defined why.
Ty Lue mentioned he’d saved Russell Westbrook out within the 4th and OT as a result of he felt the crew had caught a very good rhythm and wished to maintain it rolling. He mentioned he might have performed Russ extra.
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) February 27, 2023
Ty Lue sat Terrance Mann in favor of Russell Westbrook in double OT loss vs Kings
Ty Lue sat Russell Westbrook in favor of Terrance Mann in OT loss to the Nuggets
— Dr. Lös Actual Polyamorous Tantric Intercourse Guru (@LosRealAli) February 27, 2023
Skip Bayless supplied one thing of a polarizing tackle the matter afterwards:
NOW WE SEE: Ty Lue selected to not play starter Westbrook within the 4th quarteR, Clips battled again to drive time beyond regulation. Regarded like Westbrook sat at finish of bench not collaborating in sideline huddles or bench cheering. WILL HE START CAUSING LUE THE SAME PROBLEMS HE CAUSED DARVIN HAM?
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 27, 2023
And whereas folks can quibble on whether or not he was mischaracterizing Westbrook’s habits on the bench or not, what’s objectively true is that Westbrook was on the bench when the sport mattered most.
That after all will get to the basis of Westbrook’s drawback with the Lakers, too. Jarred Vanderbilt solely scored 15 factors within the Mavericks victory, however his impression was felt repeatedly all through the sport past the stat sheet.
That was by no means the case with Westbrook when he was on the Lakers, and it doesn’t look like the case now that he’s on the Clippers.
Anthony Davis’ response to Westbrook getting shipped out was telling. Ditto for LeBron James’ farewell message to him.
Each guys had been over it.
Simone Biles had herself a bachelorette social gathering. https://t.co/Y0kgOhtwZr
— Recreation 7 (@game7__) February 27, 2023
And now with these first two video games on the Clippers, it’s simple to see why.
Westbrook brings all of the stats and flashiness you’d count on from him primarily based on his fame. What he doesn’t deliver, sadly, is significant manufacturing.
Will Westbrook and Lue have the ability to repair that, or is he already doomed to repeat his Lakers expertise with the Clippers? A solution come what may will emerge within the subsequent few weeks.
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