Lakers News: Frank Vogel Praises Russell Westbrook For Improved Performance Since Trade Deadline
(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook bounced back from his slump with a strong effort in the last couple of games — which coincided with the passing of the 2021-22 season’s trade deadline.

Reports claimed the Lakers held talks with the Houston Rockets about exchanging Westbrook for John Wall before the deadline. But L.A. eventually failed to seal the deal, reportedly due to financial reasons.

As the rumors regarding Westbrook’s future kept circulating, the 2017 NBA MVP played badly, struggling to make shots and emanating lethargy on the defensive end. But his performance improved noticeably after the trade deadline passed on Feb. 10.

Westbrook averaged 18 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists while shooting 50% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc in the last two games before the All-Star break.

A change in Westbrook’s play didn’t elude head coach Frank Vogel’s attention.

“I’m certainly happy for him,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if it’s just a trade deadline shift with him. There’s ups and downs throughout the season and I think what we saw tonight was he has a great care factor. He wants this thing to work at the highest level.

“He believes like we all do that we have a chance to do something special and the way he played the last two games, in particular, was really good for us and strengthens our belief.”

Westbrook himself said after the 106-101 win over the Utah Jazz he wanted to get better at using his leadership skills on and off the court.

Westbrook thinks Lakers play with more pace and movement since trade deadline

Westbrook has noticed the Lakers started playing with a different tempo after the trade deadline passed, allowing the Purple and Gold to make better use of their weapons.

“A lot more kick-aheads, we’re not playing it slow,” the Lakers point guard said.

“The past two games we’ve played a lot faster. Our wings are running and doing a good job of cutting, including myself, just moving the ball and putting people in positions where they can be successful.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Nation Roundtable: Who Will Get The Last Roster Spot?

Despite losing their top target in free agency, the Lakers have had…

Lakers News: Dwight Howard Wants Team to Support Him More

The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled this season and people have pointed…

Lakers Game Preview: Final Chapter in the Hallway Rivalry

The Clippers own the season record against the Lakers this year regardless…

Jaylen Brown On Kobe Bryant: ‘I Admire His Work Ethic’

With the NBA Draft Lottery quickly approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers will soon find out whether or not they will keep their top-3 protected draft pick…