NBA scout: Russell Westbrook would be better off as a sixth man

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One longtime scout agreed that Westbrook would be better off as a sixth man. “To me, he’s best with the second unit, having the ball in his hands and pushing the pace. With (James), (Westbrook) will rebound and push it, but many times, no one runs with him… certainly not (James) or (Davis). He is a poor defender on a team FULL of poor defenders. Not a great fit there either. It is just a matter of time before the (Westbrook) volcano erupts. He is so passionate and being an LA kid, wants so badly to succeed … I just don’t see it as a great fit. (James) and (Davis) are NOT changing the way they play, nor can they. I predict a 5-7 seed and first round exit in the playoffs.”
Source: Sam Amick @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Russell Westbrook emphasized the need for the Lakers to keep their “swag up” as the most important thing moving forward. Keep spirits high. – 1:39 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Russell Westbrook says the most important thing the team can do is “keep our swag up.”
That’s it. He’s officially a Vogel-era Laker now. pic.twitter.com/Qrgb0mZEpm1:37 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
That’s a promising young Cavs team, but the Lakers took care of business.
LeBron: 26 pts, 8 asts, 3 rebs, 3 stls
Melo: 24 pts (6-8 from deep), 5 rebs
Westbrook: 19 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts
AD: 15 pts, 9 rebs, 3 blks, 3 asts – 12:54 AM

Bill Oram @billoram
A really nice win for the Lakers, 113-101 over Cleveland after trailing for most of the second and third quarters. LA got 26 points from LeBron, 24 from Melo and an efficient night from Westbrook. Big defensive contributions from Austin Reaves and Avery Bradley, too. – 12:50 AM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Final: Lakers 113, Cavs 101
LeBron James led the Lakers with 26 points and 7 assists. Carmelo Anthony had 24 points (6 of 8 on 3s). Russell Westbrook had 19 points. The Lakers held the Cavs to 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Up next: vs. Rockets on Sunday. – 12:50 AM

Brad Turner @BA_Turner
LeBron James had 26 points, 8 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony 24 points, Russell Westbrook 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and AD 15 points, 9 rebounds in Lakers’ 113-101 win over Cavs. – 12:50 AM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Did Russell Westbrook just crip walk across the court while G’d up by the Eastsidaz played in the background? 😂😂😂 @SnoopDogg pic.twitter.com/hSgShbybaa12:30 AM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Third quarter: Lakers 88, Cavs 85
The Lakers closed the quarter on a 15-3 run over the final 3:01. They’re up to 13 fast break points and 52 points in the paint. LeBron James has 20 points. Russell Westbrook has 17 points and 5 assists. Carmelo Anthony has 15 off the bench. – 12:22 AM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Westbrook and AD both went over to Austin Reaves and slapped the back of his head (in much approval) after he battled Mobley to a jump ball. Strong stint from Reaves here. – 12:20 AM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Dennis Smith misses a free throw, Greg Brown gets the putback dunk and picks up an unsportsmanlike technical for hanging on the rim. Russell Westbrook nods in approval for the call. – 12:20 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Big quarter finish from Russ: Lakers just two points behind the Cavs as Westbrook lets one sit on the rim before it falls. Also had a great cut on a dime from Reaves, and a lob to AD in the last few minutes. – 12:16 AM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
A pair of Ricky Rubio off-the-dribble 3’s helped put Cleveland up 9 late in the 3rd Q, but LAL got 3’s from Reaves and ‘Melo, plus buckets at the rim from AD and Westbrook to trim the margin back to 2 at 85-83 with 1:19 in the 3rd. – 12:16 AM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Halftime: Lakers 54, Cavs 54
The Lakers held the Cavs scoreless over the final 2:30 of the first half. LeBron James has 15 points. Russell Westbrook has 11. Russ and LeBron connected on a couple of highlight transition finishes. Lakers’ defense & 15 turnovers holding them back. – 11:39 PM

Brad Turner @BA_Turner
LeBron James! LeBron James! LeBron James. He was missed. He has 15 points in first half to help Lakers tie Cavs 54-54 at intermission. Russell Westbrook has 11 points, but AD just 6 and 3 fouls. – 11:38 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
A pair of Westbrook-to-LeBron transition plays highlighted a late 2nd Q run that allowed LAL to tie the game at 54 heading into halftime.
Being tied after committing 15 turnovers is thanks in part to 57.5% FG’s, and helped by Cleveland missing several good looks at the rim. – 11:38 PM

Tony Jones @Tjonesonthenba
My Gosh Darius Garland got westbrook in hell – 11:11 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
The Lakers have TEN turnovers in the first quarter, which have accounted for 14 of Cleveland’s 28 points. (Before anybody throws out the obvious joke, no, they’re not all Westbrook’s.) AK – 11:10 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
First quarter: Cavs 28, Lakers 21
Poor end to the quarter from the Lakers. They already have 10 turnovers, leading to 14 Cleveland points. Russell Westbrook leads LA w/ 7 points. Anthony Davis has 6 points. Cleveland scored 20 of their 28 points in the paint. – 11:07 PM

Brad Turner @BA_Turner
Another wild turnover by Westbrook. He has 3 now – 11:01 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
I don’t know everything about playing NBA defense, but I wouldn’t advise running Westbrook off the line to encourage an unfettered baseline dunk. AK – 10:53 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
A couple really good things from Westbrook: an off-ball screen that freed up Anthony Davis, and attacking a closeout by Jarrett Allen instead of settling for a low percentage corner three. – 10:52 PM

Mike Bresnahan @Mike_Bresnahan
LeBron James will be back for the Lakers tonight vs. Cleveland after missing two games because of ankle soreness.
He’ll join AD, Westbrook, Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan in the starting lineup. – 10:04 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
LeBron will return tonight after missing two games with the sore ankle, starting alongside Westbrook, Bazemore, AD and Jordan.
Tip off vs. Cleveland at 7:30 p.m. on @SpectrumSN. – 10:00 PM

Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
LaMarcus Aldridge just became the 48th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points. He’s the seventh active player to reach that milestone, joining Kevin Durant, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. pic.twitter.com/tcD8xF8UN39:29 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
🎙 New episode of The Forum Club
Q&A on the slow start, Russell Westbrook, the perimeter defense, the injuries, Frank Vogel and more.
🟢 Spotify: open.spotify.com/episode/6f4taN…
🍎 Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…5:16 PM

Sam Amick @sam_amick
A tale of two point guards: How Russell Westbrook and Mike Conley are impacting the West right now. Story includes perspective from rival scouts/executives about Russ, and a chat with Conley about his Jazz, at @TheAthletic
theathletic.com/2921269/2021/1…12:28 PM

More on this storyline

Melissa Rohlin: Rajon Rondo on AD and Dwight Howard: “Those two guys, I wouldn’t say they’re best friends, but they get along very well.” -via Twitter @melissarohlin / October 23, 2021

Jovan Buha: Russell Westbrook said the Lakers have moved past their frustration from last night and there was no additional talk of the AD-Dwight situation today at film/practice. -via Twitter @jovanbuha / October 23, 2021

Mike Trudell: After Saturday’s practice, Russell Westbrook continued to note how much the Lakers want to win every game, balanced with knowledge it’s gonna take time to gel. Also noted the pace being obviously faster in the fourth quarter on Friday, with Davis at the 5, which opened things up. -via Twitter @LakersReporter / October 23, 2021