In a thriller win over the San Antonio Spurs, Russell Westbrook finally showed up and took over the Los Angeles Lakers. Brodie landed in Los Angeles surrounded by doubts, but he shook them off on Tuesday night, dropping 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds on the Texas franchise.
Anthony Davis led the team with 35 points and 17 rebounds, tying their record in two wins and two losses. It seems like Russ finally unlocked his best version and went off on the Spurs, an old rival of the 2017 NBA MVP.
Without LeBron James, the Lakers faced a big challenge in the young Spurs team. Luckily, they won the hard-fought game thanks to their two stars. While Westbrook earned a lot of praise for his performance, some people aren't convinced he can be that impactful with LeBron James on the court.
Former Laker Shaquille O'Neal sent a message to Brodie, asking him to find a way to make an impact without having the ball in his hands all the time. Once Bron returns to action, that's exactly what is going to happen (4:05).
“He is going to have to figure out ways to make an impact without being on the ball all the time. His whole career, he has been either number one or number two, now he is number three or four. I agree with Chuck, he has to push the pace. When they miss, he should be the first one on the court trying to get layups. When he gets the ball, he should be aggressive.”
“The only reason why he had 33 points is cause he took 27 shots. Now when LeBron has the ball all the time and throwing it to AD, he is not going to be able to get 27 shots. So again, he is going to have to find a way to make an impact on the game without having the ball all the time. ”
Shaq has a solid point there. Russ dominated the ball in Oklahoma City and Washington to some extent but struggled to find his touch alongside a ball-dominant James Harden.
He must avoid that same issue with the Lakers because that was the biggest concern around the league when he was traded to SoCal. The Lakers need to find the balance to prevent other teams from shutting down one of their stars every night.