The Los Angeles Lakers dropped to 5-5 on the season after Saturday night’s blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, a game that they were never really in.
There’s no one reason for the loss considering how bad it was, but it order to come away with a win the Lakers really needed strong play from Russell Westbrook in LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ absences and they did not get that.
Westbrook finished the game with eight points, nine rebounds, six assists and six turnovers on an abysmal 1-of-13 shooting.
After the game, Westbrook took responsibility for not playing with more effort to give his team a chance to win.
“From my perspective, probably just play harder. And that’s strictly just speaking for myself,” Westbrook said. “Do a better job just being me consistently and not confining my game or how I play because it just doesn’t work for our team and doesn’t work just in general, doesn’t put me in a position or pace that I need to play at to be a better teammate. So that’s just something I need to make sure I’m consistently doing.”
Westbrook has had to make an adjustment playing alongside James this season. The thought though was that he would be able to go back to playing like his usual self while James is out, although that obviously didn’t happen on Saturday night.
He added that while he’s still trying to figure some things out, his effort level is something that has to constantly stay high.
“I’m just trying to figure it out. It’s what I do, it’s what I’ve done the last 4-5 years, just trying to figure it out, coming to a new team and trying to make the best of the situation being the player that I am.
“I like to find ways to better the team, whatever it is that Coach asks me to do, but with that, there’s always a struggle making sure that I’m able to be who I am supposed to be on the floor, and that’s doing everything and playing as hard as I can possibly play and I got to do that for our team and I didn’t do that tonight. That’s something that I will make sure is done moving forward.”
Westbrook doesn’t care if Davis plays forward or center
A lot has been talked about how the best way to maximize Westbrook on this Lakers team is to surround him with shooters with Davis at center. While they haven’t done that a lot, Westbrook feels he can play with anyone.
“It don’t matter who is on the floor, what lineup we have in the game. It doesn’t change much for me. So it honestly shouldn’t change my mindset and shouldn’t change the way I play. I’m able to figure it out and do whatever is needed to be done on the floor when I’m playing how I need to play.”
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