Following the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday with 140-111 and Toronto Raptors on Monday with 114-103, the team fell helplessly.
The Lakers have been winless, except when LeBron James dropped 50+ points against the Golden State Warriors. Now being on the 10th straight road loss, the Lakers’ journey to the playoffs seems further with 29-39. The team must get their head in the game. It includes Russell Westbrook.
Russ, asked by @kylegoon what this team can do to stop falling behind by so much to start games.
"I'm not sure. I don't have an answer for you on that one."
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) March 15, 2022
Westbrook’s visible struggles
Given James’s history of a knee injury, he has been consistent throughout the season. However, the Lakers cannot simply rely on one person. As reported that Anthony Davis is expected to return in a couple of weeks and Howard Dwight is sidelined due to back tightness, the Lakers must find a way to work harder if they want to catch up with the playoffs. The team includes Westbrook who has had his bitter and sweet with the team, as well as Lakers fans and Phil Jackson.
Unfortunately, Jackson’s vibe as championship coach has not been brushed off to Westbrook. Postgame against the Raptors, apparently Westbrook’s “don’t quit” has only been a go-to excuse to suppress the negativity when in fact his inconsistent productivity continued with 14 points on 4 of 10 shooting Monday night.
Russell Westbrook says he’s “not sure” why the Lakers always get off to slow starts.
“I don’t have an answer for you on that one."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) March 15, 2022
Westbrook’s post-game interview
The Lakers shot 39.1% from the field, 31% from the three-point range, and made 22 of their 29 attempts from the free-throw line. James, as usual, had a night scoring 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists shooting 11 of 19. Talen Horton-Tucker scored 20 points along with 5 rebounds and assists.
On Monday night, LeBron was announced not to be speaking to the media. Shortly after that, Westbrook was interviewed.
The 33-year-old responded to Frank Vogel’s comments on “the team did not let go of the rope” referring to Monday night’s play and on how to play even after falling behind.
“You don’t quit. You just compete, you know one thing you can do, regardless of score miss and make shots. (Not) competing is not an option, so just compete to the best of your ability. Just leave what you have on the floor, and you can live with the result after the game.”
The nine-time NBA All-Star was asked how the Lakers are able to break out from the snowballs that were happening in the first quarter.
“Simple as that. When shots are not falling in, and they’re making a lot of shots, it put ourselves in tough hole to be able to get out of.”
Obviously, simple and general questions are safe to say. However, when it comes to the question that hits everyone in the news cycle so far, Russ admitted that he did not have the answer to that. In the interview, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player was asked the reason why the team has been playing flat so far, especially in the last two games, Westbrook responded.
“Not sure. I don’t have the answer for you on that one.”
Perhaps the key to breaking this charade is also about finding the reason why there is no chemistry between them and the main problem in the team that makes the play “flat”. Meanwhile, the Lakers are preparing for their next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.