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BJ Armstrong Says Russell Westbrook Is Better Without LeBron James And Anthony Davis On The Floor: "He's Not Used To Being The 3rd Star... How Do We Get These Guys To Play Together?"

BJ Armstrong Says Russell Westbrook Is Better Without LeBron James And Anthony Davis On The Floor: "He's Not Used To Being The 3rd Star... How Do we Get These Guys To Play Together?"

This has been a very disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers so far, with the franchise struggling to get into the automatic playoff spots in the Western Conference. It wasn't supposed to be this way for the Lakers, they expected their Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook to carry them to the very top of the league and help them challenge for the NBA title once again. 

The experiment seems to have failed though, and Westbrook has been disappointing for the Lakers, shooting poorly and turning the ball over more than anyone else in the league. It's become increasingly clear that the former MVP doesn't gel too well with his co-stars in terms of playing style and BJ Armstrong has explained that aspect of the situation in depth. Speaking on the "The Hoop Genius" podcast (via Sportskeeda), Armstrong suggested that perhaps Russ plays better without the other two stars on the floor. 

"When there's no Anthony Davis, when there's no LeBron James and Russell is there, he seems to play better ... or he's, he's more relaxed, he's more in his comfort zone. ... He's not used to being the third star," Armstrong said.

"Most players are better playing with better players. But it's like the opposite with Russell. Like he's better when one or both of those guys aren't playing. And then you say, 'Well, when LeBron gets back or Anthony Davis gets back, that should make them (better), and I think that is the mystery here: ... how do we get those guys to play well all together?"

With Davis and LeBron both in and out of the lineup thanks to injuries recently, Russ has found some semblance of form, which backs up BJ Armstrong's observation. Russ has scored 20 or more points in 4 of his last 5 games, something he managed just once in the 11 games before that stretch. 

This is far from a good sign for the Lakers as a team though, as, despite Westbrook's performances, they've lost 3 straight games. Making it deep in the playoffs will depend on if their stars can all play well together, not just separately. The future seems uncertain, although sources have suggested that the Lakers will not be looking to trade the superstar but will instead try to make it work with their current stars.