Russell Westbrook is a player that has been under the spotlight all season, and a fair amount of the attention towards him was negative. The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled this season, and part of their struggles have been due to the fit between Russell Westbrook and the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
A lot of people have criticized Frank Vogel's coaching this season, as the team has simply looked out of sorts on both ends of the floor. One of those people was analyst Stephen A. Smith.
“I’ve never advocated for Frank Vogel’s firing. What I said was, he will be the scapegoat. … The one thing I am critical of Frank Vogel about is … the reason why you were head coach is that defense was your signature. You cannot be Frank Vogel and have a team 18th in defensive efficiency and 27th in points allowed.”
“The reason that I feel that way is because of how they looked even before AD went down. They were like 16 and 14 before AD went down, OK. And they were having problems defensively.”
Russell Westbrook was recently asked about what Frank Vogel and the coaching staff have done to try and help the team figure things out this season. Westbrook had an interesting response, claiming that the coaching staff did things that "they felt was best" for the team, adding that he'd "leave it at that".
Frank Vogel has notably benched Russell Westbrook in the past during crunch time against the Indiana Pacers, claiming that he was playing the players that would win him the game. The Los Angeles Lakers ended up losing that game anyway.
While a lot of people have criticized Russell Westbrook for his performances and deservedly so, he is still a good basketball player that can impact a game. We saw that in the Los Angeles Lakers' recent game against the Denver Nuggets. Hopefully, we can see him bounce back next season, whether that happens on the Los Angeles Lakers or on another team.