Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a picture with his jersey during a press conference at Staples Center on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images | Katelyn Mulcahy

KEY POINTS

  • Russell Westbrook struggled in his first game for the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Frank Vogel knows Westbrook will mesh better as the season moves forward
  • The Lakers will play against the Phoenix Suns next

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel pleaded with the fans to give Russell Westbrook time to adjust to his new team as they fell to the Golden State Warriors, 121-114.

During the post-game press conference, Vogel quickly came to the defense of Westbrook when asked about his first official outing as a member of the Lakers.

“It’s difficult when you are used to being the guy that has the ball most nights to be able to play off of others like Bron [LeBron James] and AD [Anthony Davis]. So it’s just a little bit different for him. He’s going to be great for us, but it’s going to be an adjustment period,” he stated.

Westbrook had a debut to forget with an outing of eight points, five rebounds and four assists on 4-of-13 shooting from the field and 0-of-4 on three-point attempts.

The 32-year-old guard also had four turnovers in 35 minutes of action, giving him a plus-minus of -23 for the night.

The Golden State Warriors offense was simply clicking throughout the game and Westbrook himself looked lost on defense, while on some offensive possessions had him standing in the corner.

The Lakers’ floor-spacing in this game was questionable to say the least as the fiery guard was caught standing in the corner during offensive possessions.

Not regarded as a respectable three-point shooter, his defender would often collapse into the paint and give help to the side defense.

Fans had a right to be concerned about Westbrook’s fit with the Lakers, but the guard nonchalantly told the media that he would just have to figure things out moving forward.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis carried the Lakers for the most part with a combined 67 points and 22 rebounds performance.

However, the lack of help from key personnel ultimately lost them a winnable game.

Vogel also reiterated the need for Westbrook to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor, not just on offense.

“We want him [Russell Westbrook] to be aggressive. That part is easy. He’ll stay aggressive, he’ll stay in attack mode. It’s just figuring out the teammates around him and that’ll come,” said Vogel.

The Lakers will next welcome the Phoenix Suns to the Staples Center on Friday, October 22 before having an ease in schedule prior to facing the Portland Trail Blazers on November 6.

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