Russell Westbrook has not had the best start with the purple and gold, and the fans have let him know their stance. But things are starting to look up for the All-Star as he is starting to jell with LeBron James.
The thought of who the primary ball-handler will be was the likeliest problem to ensue from the partnership, but both veterans have found a way to make it work. Although Russ had troubles early in the season, he has settled in nicely.
While many have been very critical of Westbrook's performance, NBA champion Metta Sandiford-Artest is impressed with his performance so far. Speaking with Chris Geeter McGee on Spectrum SportsNet, he said:
“I think he’s doing great. I can’t expect Russ to jell right away. Even when this team was put together and I’m thinking about it, we all know that good ol’ Laker team that took them a little time, and they were hurt. And that’s the same thing now.
“You got five Hall of Famers on one team. It’s going to take them a little time to jell. Russ is going to do his thing early and then you have AD come back. AD is the franchise player here. Someone’s going to have to make a decision and sacrifice.”
Given the team's overhaul during the offseason, it was undoubtedly supposed to take some time for them to play their best basketball. The Lakers acquired 11 different players to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Talen-Horton Tucker.
Even though LeBron James has stated that he is happy with every member of the team, there are rumors that Russ might be used in a trade deal to acquire Philadelphia 76ers star, Ben Simmons. Although he is not a high-level producer offensively, his defensive prowess is commendable.
Westbrook has featured in every game for the Lakers this season and is averaging 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 8.4 assists while shooting 45.1% from the field. So far, head coach Frank Vogel has commended his aggressiveness and willingness to always attack the rim.