Russell Westbrook’s second season with the Los Angeles Lakers has not started any better than the first one did, and one stat illustrates that perfectly.
The Lakers blew a 102-95 lead with 1:56 left in Sunday’s game against Portland and ultimately lost 106-104. Westbrook went 4-for-15 from the field and, with the Lakers up one, inexplicably took and missed a 15-foot jumper with 27 seconds left and 16 seconds remaining on the shot clock.
Westbrook’s 4-for-15 showing came on the heels of his 0-for-11 performance in Thursday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. That gives him a 15.4% field goal percentage in the last two games, according to Elias, tying him for the worst mark by any Laker ever — with himself.
King James sounds off on Westbrook
In light of Westbrook’s struggles, Lebron James refuses to give any soundbites that could be spun into Russ shade:
The Lakers are finishing games with teams barely giving any attention to Westbrook on defense. That makes it harder for James, Davis and the rest of the team to find the space to score.
The former regular season MVP is clearly a clog in the Lakers' wheel of progress, and the team can surely see it. Everyone else certainly can, as both the Clippers and Blazers have defended him with centers, daring him to shoot and disrupting the Lakers’ spacing. Westbrook does not seem to rate his performances that badly, but few would back him up there — and it’s unclear where the team can possibly go from here.