Lakers News: Darvin Ham Looks Forward To Seeing More Of Russell Westbrook In Bench Role
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the Los Angeles Lakers’ Friday night contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the biggest news was undoubtedly that head coach Darvin Ham had decided to bring Russell Westbrook off the bench. While the Lakers’ losing streak to start the season continued, Westbrook had a relatively positive showing on the night.

Westbrook finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds, but the Lakers dropped to 0-5 after being defeated by the Timberwolves 111-102. Westbrook’s energy off the bench really gave a boost to the team as a whole and while he shot just 6-of-17 from the field, his overall impact was a positive one.

Ham was very happy with the results in Westbrook’s first game off the bench and had nothing but praise for the point guard. After the contest Ham said that Westbrook was great in his first game off the bench, while also noting that he looks forward to seeing more of him in that role, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Russ, my hats off to him once again. Came off and showed the type of impact he can have in that reserve role and shoring up our bench. And not just coming in and trying to maintain anything, but coming in and taking it up a notch. So he was great in that role tonight and I look forward to seeing him in it more once we start getting healthy bodies back. Get AD back out there, get Dennis out there. It’s been like a multiple choice thing trying to figure out a rotation in terms of who’s healthy and whose not healthy. Once we get whole, we’ll definitely, hopefully, be closing out some of these games on the right side of the win and loss column.”

The Westbrook-led bench unit was undoubtedly a positive for the Lakers as not only did he thrive, but Austin Reaves, Wenyen Gabriel and Kendrick Nunn all played well. Again it didn’t result in that elusive victory the Lakers are looking for, but it is another positive to build on and Westbrook insists he will continue to do whatever is needed for the team to win.

Once Anthony Davis returns from injury, if the Lakers can continue to get this type of effort and impact from Westbrook, and simultaneously boost the rest of the reserves, things might finally begin to turn around for this team.

Westbrook happy with direction Lakers are going, but must get healthy

Unfortunately when you’re the Lakers, there are simply no moral victories to be had and Westbrook and the rest of the team understand that.

Following their latest loss, Westbrook said that he was proud of how the team played overall, but stressed the importance of them getting healthy, particularly Davis and Dennis Schroder. But the Lakers point guard also added, rightfully, that no one will feel sorry for them as they struggle.

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