The Los Angeles Lakers faithful hadn’t seen their team in over a week before L.A. hosted the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday — but the Purple and Gold’s return turned sour after they lost 114-111.
The Lakers suffered a crushing defeat even though LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned from injuries. In the aftermath, they fell 1.0 games behind Play-In Tournament spots with five games to go — drastically reducing their chances of making the postseason.
Understandably, the atmosphere at Crypto.com Arena became less enthusiastic as the Lakers neared the defeat on Friday. But even when the crowd energy changes, Russell Westbrook says it has no impact on his game.
“I don’t pay attention to this crowd, to be honest,” he says.
For the first time in six weeks, Westbrook got to share the floor with both Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The Lakers’ Big 3 played its 21st game together in the loss against the Pelicans.
Westbrook previously admitted to the many lineup changes taking a mental toll on the 2017 NBA MVP. However, he still tries to approach games with the same mindset, regardless of whether James and Davis are by his side.
“My mindset is always play with the cards you’re dealt,” Westbrook says.
“Whatever’s on the floor, you’ve got to use it. If AD and Bron are playing, then we make sure we as a team implemented and used all that we have and go from there.”
Frank Vogel doesn’t think Westbrook’s efficiency will change after James and Davis’ returns
Westbrook’s form has surged over the past couple of weeks, during which the guard averaged 19.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.0 assists, shooting 48.7% from the field and 38.1% from downtown.
Frank Vogel said he believes the 33-year-old will keep up the good work even after James and Davis returned from their injuries.
“I don’t think it should change that much, honestly,” Vogel said.
“We want him always to be aggressive but never to force. That applies if Bron and AD are out there or if we’ve got the group we had tonight. We want him to be as aggressive as he can, but to be efficient with his turnover ratio and his shooting percentage. So that shouldn’t change that much.”
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