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Friday, November 26, 2021

Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis support Russell Westbrook after shaky start

LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis knows this feeling: defeat even before his journey began.

Two years ago, a 10-point defeat by the Clippers ruined his Lakers debut. Throughout the summer, critics questioned whether his youth, tucked away in New Orleans’ quaint marketplace, prepared him for the bright burning lights of Los Angeles. In just one night, Davis wondered if they had judged him correctly.

A few feet from him sat LeBron James, who was not that heavy.

“He looked at me and said, ‘It’s okay, this is Game 1,” Davis recalls. “He’s laughing. He jokes on the phone. And I’m like, “Why am I upset then?” And I just went with the flow. ”

Davis found himself on the other side of this dynamic Tuesday night. Russell Westbrook not only suffered his first defeat as a Laker, but also fought hard on an individual level. The former league MVP was uncomfortable in a 121-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors, averaging eight points, four assists and four assists as he hit downtime strikes, missed defensive missions and struggled to find his way. throws (4 out of 13).

No one felt this disappointment more than Westbrook. In his post-game media session, he went back to short answers, using less than 70 words to answer five reporters’ questions.

Did James and Davis later reassure him? “We spoke.”

Westbrook’s grimness spoke volumes that his words did not. James and Davis confirmed that he was self-critical, obsessing over his mistakes after the game. James advised Westbrook to take a break.

“I told Russ to go home and watch the comedy,” James said. “Do something that puts a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. This is one game. ”

The enduring patience of his superstar teammates only underscores that the Lakers, now officially 0-1 after failing to win any of their six pre-season games, have a long wait. Westbrook is the NBA’s Tasmanian devil, a mixture of strength and chaos that sometimes does more harm than good. His brilliant passes and lightning-fast edge strikes are awe-inspiring to opponents; his pinpoint shooting and occasional reckless turns keep his own fans on their toes.

But in Laker’s locker room, Westbrook is fortified by teammates who believe in his game. No one preaches the faith more than James and Davis, who foresee the immense power that will be on their heels when they reach the required operational strength. Coach Frank Vogel said that he believes Westbrook should be judged skill-wise: he is a rookie who has to adjust his game as much as possible in accordance with a style in which he has always been a dominant player.

There are necessary adjustments: fewer shots, fewer holdings to lift the ball up, new weapons to work with. But his teammates remain convinced that this is not a reimagining of Westbrook, but simply a new context. Davis has seen possessions where Westbrook can see clear paths to reach the goal, but he prefers passing instead of scoring to get his teammates involved.

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“We want him to be himself, to be aggressive, to be Russell Westbrook,” Davis said. “Be the reason we traded for you.”

Although Westbrook is often referred to as an agreeable teammate, he has had difficult frictions with his senior partners. His pairing with Kevin Durant was fruitful but grew weary over time, ending with Durant’s departure to Golden State, much to Westbrook’s chagrin. The reunion with James Harden in Houston ended after a year due to their different approaches to the game. He and Bradley Beal had moments together in Washington last season, including an encouraging late entry into the postseason, but Beale ultimately didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by Westbrook’s Los Angeles trade demand.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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