Russell Westbrook ever since his debut with the Lakers has been under constant scrutiny. There are suggestions that he should be coming off the bench.
Lakers didn’t answer those questions very well on the court. They started their campaign with 2 straight losses following a horrific pre-season where they lost all 5 of their matches. Russell Westbrook didn’t look like his normal self in any of those matches, not even in their 1st win of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Westbrook averaged 12 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2 assists in the first three regular season games, and was shooting 34 percent from the field, including 1-for-11 from the perimeter and 41 percent from the free-throw line.
So sports experts and fans started thinking whether the 9-time All-Star should come off the bench, forgetting this guy was averaging over 22, 11, and 11 just last year.
Kendrick Perkins is angry towards the disrespect Westbrook is getting
Westbrook was looking so passive in his first few games with his new team that many people in the media, including us, thought would it be better if the 2017 MVP played more with the Lakers’ second unit than the first?
“He needs to have the ball, and I think he needs to come off the bench. I think he needs to be the guy who’s with the second unit.”@RealMikeWilbon on Russell Westbrook following the Lakers’ first game of the season pic.twitter.com/fxvaYPEVUx
— PTI (@PTI) October 20, 2021
But with LeBron James sidelined due to an injury scare in the Grizzlies game, Westbrook took over the game against Spurs last night. He posted 33 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in a close overtime win to even out the Lakers win-loss column.
And so LeBron’s former teammate and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins thought everyone was wrong in making judgment so early,
Some of y’all still think he should come off the bench?! Don’t mind me tho and Carry on… https://t.co/c4XNLwiJxt
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) October 27, 2021
Since Big Perk’s take, Westbrook’s form was split against two very young teams. First one in a loss against his former team Oklahoma City Thunder, he shot 20 times to score 20. And a rather efficient one yesterday against the Cleveland Cavaliers where he shot 8/13 to score 19.
With a 3-3 start to the season, it would be interesting to see how Frank Vogel will manage 4 of the NBA’s top-75 players of all time, with one of them already adjusted to a bench role and another scrutinized by the experts to differ to play a secondary role to LeBron and AD.