As the Lakers play much better basketball with Russell Westbrook on the bench, Anthony Davis and Frank Vogel expect Brodie to come back better.
The Los Angeles Lakers had it all set up Saturday night to blow up yet another game. After making the best comeback of the season, they gave a 7-point lead away in the fourth quarter to give the Knicks a chance to force OT.
Thanks to Russell Westbrook and the 9-time All-Star’s worst performance in a Purple and Gold uniform. The point guard had 5 points on 1-10 shooting with 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 turnovers.
Russell Westbrook was 1/10 from the field against the Knicks.
Lakers fans did not want him shooting the ball last night 😬 pic.twitter.com/y2fbJssfXE
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 6, 2022
The Lakers were getting outscored by 15 points when Brodie was on the floor. Which lead to the head coach’s decision of benching the former OKC guard after the end of regulation.
“There’s nothing wrong with any player if someone’s not playing well enough, and they don’t get to finish the game, or they don’t get to close the game out, there’s nothing wrong with giving someone else who you feel is gonna give you a better chance, giving them the opportunity. And hopefully, the response is that that player plays better. That’s the hope.” Vogel said.
Anthony Davis tries giving confidence to Russell Westbrook
Lakers’ 21-point comeback in the second half was their largest of the season, and biggest since 2015. The brilliance of Davis — 28 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals — was enough for the team to outscore the Knicks in the second half to actually complete a comeback.
“It can be frustrating. The fans, obviously, want to see him play better. But one thing you can’t do is put too much pressure on yourself,” Davis said of Westbrook after the game.
Anthony Davis, on Laker fans booing Russell Westbrook.
“The fans obviously want to see him play better… He’s got to stay out of his own head, continue to play and do the little things.”
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 6, 2022
“You have to go out there and play freely. There were some shots tonight that he usually takes in rhythm that he kind of passed up or hesitated. Me and LB were telling him, ‘We don’t care if you miss everyone. Just play. Shoot your rhythm shots. Don’t hesitate.’ And obviously, it’s easier said than done because when you’re in it, you don’t want to be missing shots. I mean, he doesn’t try to miss. A lot of the shots he takes are shots that he can make. But he’s got to stay out of his own head.” finished AD.
Russell Westbrook has mixed feelings about his benching
Brodie said things pretty much similar to what his coach and his younger teammate had to say about him after the 122-115 win.
“Everybody has off nights. I have some. Other people may have some. And that’s a part of the game,” Westbrook said. “That’s basketball. But I don’t care about anything as long as we won. Winning is the most important part of this game.”
But Vogel’s expectations for Russell to perform well after getting snubbed to close out the game might take time, as the 2017 MVP believes it’s good for everyone if his team thought they’d play better without him and won.
“He’s the coach. He makes the decision on whatever he feels is best for his team,” Westbrook said. “Like I said, the most important part is not about myself, it’s about our team. We won the game, and that’s the most important part.”
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Westbrook not getting better even slightly better with the Playoffs so close is an alarming situation for the Lakers, but that also makes him as untradable as he ever was. So, Frank Vogel and Co have to decide how Brodie could really be used so that he’s not hurting his own team.