Russell Westbrook will have high hopes for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. The Long Beach, California native will be competing at home for the first time, with a state that supports and believes in him.
But the one who has the most confidence in his game is himself. As it always was. The 32-year-old veteran has started every preseason game he's played so far (four total for him) and is preparing for a special time in his life with the purple and gold.
The most recent proof of his impact was his remarkable performance against the Sacramento Kings last night, where he finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals in 29 minutes, but it's all just getting started.
When it was his turn to analyze what happened in the post-game press conference, the guard explained the reasons why he felt more focused, explaining that it was a combination of what the defense allowed him to do and a more aggressive outreach on his part.
“Combination of both. If it’s one-on-one, then I like my chances against anybody. If they’re going to guard me like that, then it’s my job to be able to make the right play, attack, use my size and my strength to get to where I need to get to.”
The one who also played a great game was LeBron James, who finished with 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, and after the game, he remarked what Westbrook means to the team and the confidence he has in him.
"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."
Westbrook's confidence has never been tested and this season he will have one of the best playmakers in history in LeBron and one of the most imposing and versatile inside players in Anthony Davis to go in search of the championship ring that has so far eluded him.