The Lakers will enjoy the return of LeBron James and Anthony Davis tonight, but they will need more than just good health to make something of the season.
Speaking to the media on Friday afternoon, Lakers guard Russell Westbrook spoke about some of the biggest challenges the team will face and revealed how he expects to make things work with his two co-stars returning to the lineup.
“Yeah, that’s the challenge,” Westbrook told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “For me, I just got to find ways to be able to affect the game and figure out a way to be able to implement all of our guys so we can make a run, get into the playoffs and hopefully get a championship. My challenge as the point guard is to be able to implement everyone else, and I’ll try to do it the best way I can.”
With the Lakers at 11th in the West, it’s fair to say this season has not gone according to plan. Back in September, the Purple and Gold had aspirations of winning a title, and much of the NBA community saw them as leading contenders.
ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins even went so far as to suggest the Lakers could win 70 games.
"You cannot tell me that you’re about to have LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, all of these players and you’re telling me that they’re not going to have a 60-win season? Please. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they scratch the surface of hitting the 70-win season. Just look at the lineup.”
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Instead, the Lakers have been struck with poor health, poor play, and chaos that has worn the whole team down.
On Westbrook’s part, he is doing what he can to combat the noise and keep his head above the water. Just recently, he brushed off the haters and insisted the constant barrage of hate isn’t getting to his head.
No matter what you believe, the only way to redeem the season is by winning when it counts the most. We will see soon enough if they have what it takes.