After sitting out Wednesday’s game versus the Denver Nuggets with a bad hamstring, Russell Westbrook returned for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Friday tilt at the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, there was a big change. Westbrook came off the bench for L.A., the first time he didn’t start a game since his rookie season, which was 14 years ago.
When he came into the contest, he supplied his team with energy and pace, but he didn’t finish well, as he shot 6-of-17 overall and committed five turnovers in the Lakers’ 111-102 loss.
The former league MVP says he’s willing to come off the bench for the foreseeable future, which reportedly could be the plan.
Hear from Russell Westbrook after scoring 18 points in the loss to the Timberwolves. pic.twitter.com/6c5G5jDZjI
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) October 29, 2022
“From day one I mentioned, like I said I’m a guy that’s willing to do whatever for the team. I’ve sacrificed whatever it is that needed to be sacrificed. Parts of my game that I’ve done for years to accommodate whatever it is that the coach needs me to do and I’ll continue doing that.
“… Coming off last season, sacrificing, ok. Sacrifice more and you’re still losing, it’s difficult especially playing and doing things I know I can be able to help our guys and I’ll continue doing whatever is asked of me and we’ll figure it out and get on the board.”
Westbrook coming off the bench could work somewhat well for the Lakers, as he could play a key role in speeding up the pace of the game even more and giving their second unit some much-needed offense.
But as always, efficiency and limiting turnovers will be the key for him.