Russell Westbrook has improved his game over the last couple of weeks, just in time for the deciding moments of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season.
Over the last eight games, Westbrook averaged 21.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.6 assists. His shooting has gotten significantly better, rising from 44.1% from the field and 29.2% from deep on the season to 51.2% and 37.8%, respectively.
Asked what’s behind his form surge, Westbrook reiterated that a change in his positioning on the floor has started to pay off.
“Just in different spots on the floor, reading and making adjustments. Sticking to my craft regardless of the circumstances that’s given to me,” he said.
Westbrook added that the craziness of the season that forced the Lakers to change their rotation constantly has taken a mental toll on him.
“For me personally, it’s a big adjustment,” the 2017 NBA MVP said. “You don’t know who’s playing and who’s out, who’s starting and who’s not. That’s something that I’m not accustomed to, but like I said, I make no excuses. I own whatever it is, play with whoever is playing and try to make the best of it.”
Frank Vogel acknowledged Westbrook’s progress, saying the Lakers guard seemed more and more comfortable in their system with each month passing.
“I think he’s slowing down, I think he’s taking better shots and as a result, like you said, his efficiency is going up and we’ll see when we get LeBron and AD back with Russ playing this way, that’s a positive sign for us. Another good performance by him,” Vogel said after the loss to the Utah Jazz.
Vogel doesn’t expect Westbrook’s form to dip after LeBron James and Anthony Davis return
Vogel added he expects Westbrook to keep up his effective game even after LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ potential return against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
“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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