Russell Westbrook had a tough start to his season with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his first 3 games of the 2021-22 season, he averaged 12.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 8.7 APG, while shooting an abysmal 34.9% from the field.
However, Russell Westbrook has slowly found his groove, and his averages have trended upwards. Currently, he is averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 8.5 APG, while shooting 44.5% from the field on the season.
Most recently against the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook had one of his best performances in a Lakers uniform, tallying 27 points on 10-21 shooting, while also grabbing 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
After the game, LeBron James was asked about Russell Westbrook and what he sees with him. LeBron James responded by calling Russell Westbrook a "special player" and stated that Westbrook has been "himself" over the last few weeks.
Getting more and more comfortable. It's always challenging going to a new system, to a new team, to a new group of guys. You always trying to see yourself fitting in.
But when you're a special player, you gotta fit out. Russ is a special player, and he's being himself over the last few weeks. We need that. We need the attacking downhill, most explosive point guard in NBA history, with him and D-Rose. We need that, so he's been bringing that.
It's clear that Russell Westbrook can take some of the ballhandling duties from LeBron James, and allow the older superstar to be able to play off the ball. Kirk Goldsberry has previously broken down LeBron James' new playstyle, which features more jumpers rather than the rim attempts we know him for. LeBron James is also currently shooting more 3PT shots than ever before in his career, averaging 9 attempts a game from beyond the arc.
It remains to be seen how well the Los Angeles Lakers perform in the coming weeks, but this game from Russell Westbrook and their other stars is certainly encouraging. Hopefully, we see the continue winning, and if Russell Westbrook keeps performing at a high level, the chances of that get larger.