The Los Angeles Lakers reloaded in a big way this past offseason after trading for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal with the Washington Wizards.
Westbrook brings a level of physicality and athleticism at the point guard position the Lakers sorely lacked last season, though there are questions about his fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Westbrook is a historically poor shooter who needs the basketball to be effective, so it remains to be seen how he will look as the clear third option for the team.
However, Dwight Howard is optimistic that Westbrook will be just fine during the season. “Well I think it will work great,” Howard said. “He’s played with superstars before, he’s played with KD and James, he’s played with Bradley Beal, he’s played with so many superstars so I don’t think that will be a problem for him.
“I think that he has been underappreciated, all of us really have been underappreciated. But I know that we appreciate each other, we appreciate what we each bring to the table for this team. So I think when having a guy like Russ, who’s gonna give you 15, 16, 20 points a night, he’s gonna get you 12 rebounds, he’s gonna get you 10 assists and he’s gonna give you 110% every night. How can you not appreciate it? I’m gonna tell you, I appreciate you Russ! And we haven’t even played on the same team yet or played a game together yet. But I appreciate what you do and I think everyone in L.A. is gonna appreciate it when you hold up that trophy at the end of the season. Why not?”
Westbrook’s flaws as a player are easy to point out, but it takes away from what he brings on the court each and every night. With someone as intense and passionate as Westbrook on the floor, the Lakers should be able to play with more force and energy throughout the year.
Howard discusses Westbrook and James’ fit
James and Westbrook make for an iffy fit, but there are ways the two can work together to be effective. However, Howard believes the only thing those two and he have to do is do what they do best. “Well we want to win, and we know what Russ can provide for our team and why not let him do what he do? That’s what he does best,” Howard explained.
“I think everybody has to be a star in what they do best. So I know for me, rebounding, playing defense, that’s what I do best. And catching vibes. So that’s all I got to focus on. Russ, he does everything. He passes, scores, rebounds and he’s gonna be the best at it. LeBron, he does everything. He’s gonna be the best at it. So we’re gonna be the best at what the coach is gonna ask us to do and that should lead to a trophy.”
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