Russell Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason from the Washington Wizards and is ready to go after the championship with an experienced group that includes LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and company.
Although Frank Vogel's unit couldn't win a single game in six pre-season matches, LeBron is confident in the team's potential, as well as in the rest of his teammates.
He showed this at the press conference following the Lakers' loss to the Sacramento Kings, 116-112. When it was his turn to talk about his teammate, Westbrook, he explained what kind of impact he could have and how he could remain a new threat to opposing defenses.
"Well, one thing (Russell Westbrook) does do, well, both us on the floor, it takes a set of two eyes off of us individually. Now when the ball is swung to us, we just attack. We’ve grown so accustomed over the years of having teams key on us when we bring the ball in transition, defenses loading early not wanting us to get into the paint and break the defense down. When both of us on now different sides, if one of us are bringing the ball down and we get the defense shift on this side, quick swing to the other side, now we’re able to go with not a set of three or four eyes looking at us. So it’s just constant pressure that we’re going to put on defense. Ultimately it’s going to help AD. It’s going to help our shooters it’s going to help everybody on the floor because we can bring down the defense at a high level."
Russell played in four of the six friendly games for the franchise located in the state of California, he started all of those and maintained averages of 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 25.3 minutes on the court.
Despite those interesting numbers, the guard did not look good in ball movement and decision-making as he is still adjusting to the new system. So far, Westbrook is averaging a significant amount of turnovers (5.8 per game) that he will need to cut down considerably in the regular season.
LeBron is averaging 18.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in just 24.4 minutes per game and was part of the team in three of the preseason appearances.
The adjustment will have to come in the official games and the Lakers assets will be enough to keep them competitive, especially on offense.