Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers
Despite a diminished role, Russell Westbrook has been doing well with the Lakers coming off the bench. Alex Goodlett/Getty Images


  • Russell Westbrook is a serious contender for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award
  • Westbrook is thriving coming off the bench but may need to do more to help the Lakers
  • The Lakers have yet to decide on whether they will pull off an NBA trade or not

For those who have followed the NBA career of Russell Westbrook, there is no question that his numbers have spiraled considerably.

However, he is doing better this 2022-23 NBA season compared to last time out with the Los Angeles Lakers.

One tweak made on his behalf is Westbrook coming off the bench.

Although uncanny for someone as decorated as the 2017 NBA MVP, he is performing a whole lot better.

Although he had far better averages during the 2021-22 NBA season with the Lakers, a notable change from Westbrook is that he is now doing a better job down the stretch.

Although he is averaging just 14.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.2 rebounds compared to the 18.5 points 7.1 assists and 7.4 rebounds in between seasons, most fail to see that these were achieved in different playing minutes on the floor.

Westbrook normed 34.3 minutes of playing time in 78 regular season games last season.

Now, he is close to reaching the same numbers but on only 28.1 minutes per game.

Hence, one can just imagine how much more the two-time NBA scoring champion can do if he were given more time on the floor.

Such is a reason why Westbrook could be in line to win the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year this season.

His numbers and the performance of the Lakers may not be pretty, but there is no doubt that the 34-year-old is performing a whole lot better compared to his first season with the purple and gold according to Bleacher Report pundits.

Considering Anthony Davis will be missing games, there is no better opportunity for Westbrook to shine as he doesn't have to be a starter to deliver what the Lakers need from him.

If Lakers coach Darvin Ham can find a way to get the best out of Westbrook and tandem him with LeBron James, Los Angeles can stay afloat.

However, the real problem is who would be next in line to help James and Westbrook.

The Lakers' front office has yet to pull off a trade, and their lackluster showing this season is making decisions on possibly changing up their roster even harder.

Russell Westbrook and Terry Rozier
Russell Westbrook is thriving coming off the bench, delivering better numbers compared to last NBA season. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images