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Norman Nixon Believes Darvin Ham Can Make Russell Westbrook Work On The Los Angeles Lakers: "Russell Has A Lot Left In His Engine."

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NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook Is More Likely To Be Traded To The Utah Jazz Than The Indiana Pacers

Last season did not go well for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the team went 33-49 and missed the play-in tournament. Point guard Russell Westbrook was heavily criticized during the season, as many people were unhappy with his inefficient and turnover-heavy play style.

Despite the fact that last season wasn't a success for Russell Westbrook or the team, there are definitely people who believe that he can still be valuable for the Los Angeles Lakers. Recently, former Lakers All-Star Norman Nixon claimed that coach Darvin Ham "will be able to figure it out", adding that Russell Westbrook "still has a lot of talent". Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints relayed the news.

Norm Nixon, however, believes the Lakers can make it work with Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles.

“Absolutely, it can work there,” Nixon told ClutchPoints. “I think Darvin Ham will be able to figure it out. I mean, Russell still has a lot of talent. He’s no the Russell Westbrook he was at 22 [years old] and nobody is that after they’ve played a few years, but Russell has a lot left in his engine.”

Darvin Ham has previously suggested that Russell Westbrook needs to start playing defense at a championship level once again. There's no doubt that Russell Westbrook was viewed as a good perimeter defender in his prime, and perhaps he can get back to playing defense at a high level under coach Darvin Ham.

“We talked in our conversations and the biggest word we used was ‘sacrifice and everything else is gonna flow from there… I want him to set a tone defensively for our team. Just get back to guarding, guarding, guarding… I want him to get back to guarding at a championship level.”

Obviously, improving on that end of the floor is easier said than done. However, Russell Westbrook definitely has the athleticism, length, and experience to make strides on the defensive end if that is the focus of his role. He could still be a valuable player were he to defend at an elite level while also providing slashing and playmaking for the team.

Hopefully, we see Russell Westbrook bounce back next year and prove all the haters wrong. He has been the target of a lot of negative media attention, but perhaps that'll change next year if Russell Westbrook ends up contributing to a championship-level Lakers team next season. There's no doubt that Westbrook is still a talented player, and we'll see how well he does on the Lakers next year.