Russell Westbrook: Lakers Can Learn, Build Off Road Trip
Russell Westbrook, Lakers
(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers finished off their longest road trip of the season and the results were mixed to say the least. After a promising 2-1 start and an Anthony Davis return, LeBron James then missed the final three contests, all of which the Lakers lost.

The only of the three Lakers stars to play in all six games was Russell Westbrook. Things looked as if they could finally begin turning around for the Lakers with Davis’ return and great play, but once again injuries have taken away their opportunity to build some continuity with LeBron’s knee issue.

Westbrook had some excellent moments as well, but ultimately it was not enough and the Lakers’ road trip would end on a bad note.

“It was not the most successful trip for us,” Westbrook said following the Lakers’ 129-121 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “Got to get ready to go back home and take care of business there.”

The Lakers have a couple days to figure some things about before taking the court again. But despite the losses in the last three games, Westbrook does see some things the Lakers can build upon.

“As a group, we can bring some of that energy back home and use it to our advantage and find ways to be able to use it for 48 minutes,” the Lakers’ point guard noted. “I thought tonight we did that a good amount of the game but didn’t close the game the way we wanted to.”

Indeed the Lakers did play very well for much of the game against the Hawks, but just couldn’t close it out. In the prior game against the Charlotte Hornets the team battled all the way back from a huge deficit despite being without James and Davis due largely to Westbrook’s performance.

That resilience and fight is something that Westbrook wants to continue on moving forward. “Yeah, there were some things we could take away. Just some of the fight we had as a group and some of the way we kind of stayed together through different things throughout games,” Westbrook said.

“There were some things we could take, now we just got to find ways to put it all together, finish games and put it all into one game. But there’s definitely some positives we can take from the trip.”

The Lakers were never embarrassed during the road trip and fought hard regardless of who was on the court. Of course, health remains the biggest obstacle for this team and if they are unable to get healthy, nothing else really matters.

Regardless, the team does seem to be making positive strides, it is just a matter of if they able to put it all together quick enough to make a real playoff run.

Westbrook credits Lakers teammates for giving him confidence

Without a doubt Westbrook’s best performance on this road trip came against the Hornets, when he finished with 35 points — including 16 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately the Lakers weren’t quite able to complete the comeback, but Westbrook credited his teammates for giving him the confidence to go out and put on that amazing performance.

“It’s something that when the team needs me to do it, I’m able to still do it,” Westbrook said. “That’s the most important part.

“The unfortunate part is that we didn’t win the game, but with my teammates and those guys giving me confidence to be aggressive and make the right reads, it was good to kind of get that going.”

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