Russell Westbrook says turnovers, missed shots don’t affect quality of his performance

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Russell Westbrook says turnovers, missed shots don’t affect quality of his performance
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Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook has been criticized in recent games for the way he has played.

It started on Christmas against the Brooklyn Nets when he shot 4-of-20 from the field in the losing effort. He missed key shots down the stretch when the Lakers made a late comeback. He then struggled against Ja Morant, who went for 41 points while Westbrook mustered 16 on 16 shots against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Then against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, Westbrook missed all five of his 3-pointers and turned it over nine times, including a five-second violation late in the game that could’ve proved costly; however, Anthony Edwards’ shot went in and out.

After the game, Westbrook said he thought he had a good game despite the poor stats.

“I disagree with the point that the game wasn’t going my way,” Westbrook said. “My game is not predicated on shots or if I turn the ball over. If I miss some shots, that’s part of the game. I’m allowed to miss shots. I can do that. Like any other player, I can do that. I can turn the ball over, too. I can do that. That’s all a part of the game.”

Westbrook continued about how there are more ways to define a good basketball game.

“But when you watch a basketball game and figure out what impact is, making the right plays, boxing out, rebounding, whatever that may be, making the right play, making the right reads. That’s all about being a basketball player,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook is second in the league in turnovers per game (4.8), which is just 0.1 behind Nets star James Harden. He also has a turnover percentage of 17.8%, which ranks in the 12th percentile of all guards, per Cleaning the Glass.

Missed shots are definitely part of the game, but turnovers can be avoided if consistently making the right plays. Westbrook does have a high usage rate, though, which can lead to an increase in turnovers, but the Lakers need him to be more efficient with the ball.

That could be an area of weakness opponents thrive off of if the Lakers are to qualify for the playoffs.

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