After an abysmal showing in the 2021-22 campaign, Russell Westbrook became a target for experts and fans looking to pin someone for the Lakers' failed season.
Despite his relatively admirable numbers, Russ was more of a problem than anything else, as his turnover rate, poor defense, and limited range drastically altered what the Lakers were able to do on the floor.
By the time the season ended, everyone had assumed that Russ would be traded before getting the chance to play for the Lakers again.
Well, it's mid-September now, and not only is Westbrook still a Laker, but he has been paired with Patrick Beverley, who has been somewhat of a rival of his in the past. While some are optimistic about the pairing, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst is less than impressed.
ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst Doesn't Beleive In The Lakers' New Backcourt Duo
In a recent airing of Sports Center, Windhorst revealed his true feelings on the Lakers and expressed doubt that their new backcourt can succeed in the Western Conference.
“I am still trying to get over that we had Beverley and Westbrook on the list of notable backcourts,” Windhorst said. "Ahead of at least 7 or 8 other ones. You can’t tell me that that backcourt can work in any circumstance in 2022 NBA, and you can't tell me that LeBron has any interest in playing with those two guys running the floor for him.”
Of course, that wasn't the first time Windy expressed his feelings on L.A.'s newest tandem. Yesterday, he went viral for his comments on the pairing when he admitted that it just made no basketball sense for the two players to share the same court.
"I just don't believe that the Lakers think this is gonna work," said Windhorst earlier this week. "They're saying that and trying to make the best out of this because they know they don't have any Russell Westbrook trade that makes sense for them right now. So they're gonna try to make it work. Let's be honest: we live in an NBA era where you have to have shooting. When the Lakers won their title a couple of years ago, it was with shooting. All of LeBron's great teams in his career had shooting. You have Russell Westbrook, one of the worst three-point shooters in the NBA, and Patric Beverley who is coming off his worst three-point shooting season of his career. I guess I can't rule anything out, but this duo doesn't make any sense on a basketball level. I appreciate that they're being nice to each other, so points for that."
It remains to be seen how this whole Westbrook/Beverley thing will play out. On the one hand, we might be in for a surprise if Russ and Bev work hard to maximize each other's games.
On the other hand, Beverley isn't the kind of shooter that can make up for Westbrook's flaws. In a lot of ways, they actually play the same way, and it will be interesting to see how they manage to work together.