Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Believes Players Are ‘Sliding Into Their Roles Better’
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis available, Russell Westbrook did his best to lead the Los Angeles Lakers against a Philadelphia 76ers team that is a favorite to make it out of the Eastern Conference.

Despite being shorthanded, Westbrook and the Lakers competed the entire night and made the 76ers work for their victory. It was not the result Los Angeles hoped for, but it was a sign that the team is finally coming together at the end of the 2021-22 season.

As one of the Lakers’ leaders, Westbrook has remained positive and he noted that their showing against Philadelphia could be attributed to players feeling more comfortable in their roles.

“I think the most important part is guys are kind of sliding into their roles a little bit better and learning,” Westbrook said. “I know it’s the end of the year, but I think guys are doing a better job of having some confidence and keeping it and being able to make mistakes and play through them and keep a positive energy, which I thought was good tonight. A lot of guys collectively left it all out on the floor against a really good team at full strength and we had a chance to win the game.”

The past week, the Lakers have shown more heart and effort on the court than they have most of the year, but they also look more cohesive on both ends of the floor. The constant lineup changes have made it difficult for L.A. to find a rhythm as a group, so the recent surge has been a welcomed development, to say the least.

Fans have not had much to cheer about this season, but with the Lakers looking like a renewed team maybe they can make some noise in the next few weeks.

Russell Westbrook praise Lakers for good starts

One issue that has plagued the Lakers has been their slow starts. Los Angeles has been prone to poor shooting and defensive showings to begin games, but they have made strides in recent contests. Westbrook praised the roster for the turnaround, which has given them better chances to win.

“We’re starting the game better, I think that’s the big thing. We put ourselves in a hole a few times having to fight back. But the last few games we’ve done a good job of starting the game the proper way.”

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