Why Russell Westbrook can thrive as the Lakers’ 6th man

With 18 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists off the bench, Russell Westbrook was instrumental in the Lakers’ first win against the Nuggets. For Darvin Ham, this is the ultimate proof that it’s a win-win for both parties. Westbrook can be himself as a 6th man, with a “second unit”, and the Lakers win in this configuration.

With Westbrook unmovable, both parties have no choice but to find a compromise. As a starter, Westbrook is useless because he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. As the 6th man, he regains control of the game, and does what he used to do, surrounded by youngsters and “role players”. For his coach, starting on the bench ironically allowed Westbrook to find his rhythm.

“I told him, ‘You will succeed. Trust me. Believe in me’. I always told him, that sacrifice, from a player of your stature, it will send a message. said the Lakers coach. “It will help our team and I told him not to look like we’re taking him out of the five. If I remember correctly, he finished the game right? So if I put him in a situation where he comes off the bench, he helps us in so many areas through points, rebounds, assists and he gives confidence to others, Austin and others like Matt and Wenyen. So, in my opinion, it is perfect for our group because it is made to be in this role and then get its rhythm. Then when LeBron and AD are back on the court, he’s in a better mood, and that’s a good compromise because he’s playing and he’s productive at a high level. »

What other MVP came off the bench?

Before Westbrook, who other former MVP agreed to be the 6th man? Allen Iverson was there, but it was to relaunch his career in Memphis, and it turned out very badly… Derrick Rose was there, but it was because of his injuries. Even Shaq, when he was a shadow of his MVP self, never came off the bench. In the end, Westbrook was actually the first MVP to agree to come off the bench, and that sends a message to the rest of the workforce.

“Once on the bench, others tell themselves that they cannot return to the game to undo what has been done” continued the coach of the Lakers. “I’m so happy for him, he’s been phenomenal in the last two games, in Minnesota and on Sunday. He was amazing and that’s why I’m so happy. I can’t imagine what this kid went through… One of the biggest reasons I got this job was to make sure he got the respect he deserved. Much of what happened last year was not his fault, yet it was all blamed on him. I told him to listen to me, to believe in me: ‘I will put you in a position to succeed in the group but you have to put the group first’. We cannot reason with “I” or “me”. It should be “we”. And that’s what he did. »

Russell Westbrook Percentage Bounces
Season Crew GM minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early p.d party Int bp CT Points
2008-09 GO ON 82 33 39.8 27.1 81.5 2.2 2.7 4.9 5.3 2.3 1.3 3.3 0.2 15.3
2009-10 GO ON 82 34 41.8 22.1 78.0 1.7 3.2 4.9 8.0 2.5 1.3 3.3 0.4 16.1
2010-11 GO ON 82 35 44.2 33.0 84.2 1.5 3.2 4.6 8.2 2.5 1.9 3.9 0.4 21.9
2011-12 GO ON 66 35 45.7 31.6 82.3 1.5 3.1 4.6 5.5 2.2 1.7 3.6 0.3 23.6
2012-13 GO ON 82 35 43.8 32.3 80.0 1.4 3.9 5.2 7.4 2.3 1.8 3.3 0.3 23.2
2013-14 GO ON 46 31 43.7 31.8 82.6 1.2 4.5 5.7 6.9 2.3 1.9 3.9 0.2 21.8
2014-15 GO ON 67 34 42.6 29.9 83.5 1.9 5.4 7.3 8.6 2.8 2.1 4.4 0.2 28.2
2015-16 GO ON 80 34 45.4 29.6 81.2 1.8 6.0 7.8 10.4 2.5 2.0 4.3 0.3 23.5
2016-17 GO ON 81 35 42.5 34.3 84.5 1.7 9.0 10.7 10.4 2.4 1.6 5.4 0.4 31.6
2017-18 GO ON 80 36 44.9 29.8 73.7 1.9 8.2 10.1 10.3 2.5 1.8 4.8 0.3 25.4
2018-19 GO ON 73 36 42.8 29.0 65.6 1.5 9.6 11.1 10.7 3.4 2.0 4.5 0.5 23.0
2019-20 HOO 57 36 47.2 25.8 76.3 1.8 6.2 7.9 7.0 3.5 1.6 4.5 0.4 27.3
2020-21 IS 65 36 43.9 31.5 65.6 1.7 9.9 11.5 11.7 2.9 1.4 4.8 0.4 22.2
2021-22 EVERYTHING 78 34 44.4 29.8 66.7 1.4 6.0 7.4 7.1 3.0 1.0 3.8 0.3 18.5
2022-23 EVERYTHING 5 30 34.3 20.0 70.8 1.2 6.0 7.2 4.8 2.4 1.4 2.6 0.2 13.4
Total 1026 35 43.8 30.4 78.3 1.7 5.7 7.4 8.4 2.6 1.7 4.1 0.3 22.8

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