Russell Westbrook to come off bench in preseason finale
ESPN reporting with @Mcten: The Lakers are planning to bring Russell Westbrook off the bench in the final preseason game vs. Kings tonight (ESPN, 10 ET). Darvin Ham and Westbrook have been exploring possibility of Westbrook quarterbacking second unit and they'll try it tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2022
There's a hope that Westbrook can play freer and faster with ball in his hands on second unit -- and have to worry less about fitting away from ball around the starting group. It is certainly an idea they'll continue to discuss with start of regular season next week.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2022
It’s worth mentioning that the Lakers have used different lineups with a variety of rotation tweaks in every single game so far, and while typically you don’t want to read too much into the preseason, there’s reason to believe that this move could become permanent. It sounds like both Westbrook and coach Darvin Ham are onboard with the idea. At least for now.
A change could be just what the doctor ordered, as Westbrook’s struggles from last season have carried over into the preseason. Through four games, Westbrook has been practically invisible, both in huddles and on the court. He’s averaging 7.3 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 turnovers through three games, hitting a dismal 38.9% from the field.
Let’s see if he can get anything going Friday evening in their final tune-up.