Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, unfazed by a sluggish start, know the season is too long to panic
EL SEGUNDO, California – As much as the Los Angeles Lakers preached patience in their new look, a winless display board, a handful of injuries and now a 2-0 start to the regular season – that included the tension that overcame the defeat on Friday Phoenix Suns – would test any team’s resolve.
But Russell Westbrook, the league’s former MVP who moved Los Angeles skies in the off-season, said he was perfectly fine with the uncomfortable orbit the Lakers are currently in.
“I am honestly fine with adversity,” Westbrook said on Saturday after the team had gathered for a film session. “I never panic during a season. Especially at the beginning of the season. It really isn’t necessary. The season is too long and nobody is winning anything.
“Yes, it’s good to have a good start and feel good, but I especially want to make sure that – as the season progresses – I get better and better” and better as the season drags on . And to make sure that my team and my teammates get better and that we all feel good. “
Rajon Rondo called Saturday’s film review the longest since the group came together – “Rightly,” he said – adding that breaking the band as a unit was critical to coach Frank Vogel’s success in leading LA two to four Championship seasons are as it provides a foundation for accountability and commitment.
“When Frank is the only one in the room speaking, he says we’re doing something wrong,” said Rondo. “A lot of people talk there – the coaches, the players, we go back and forth. Not necessarily arguing or chatting, but understanding each other, because an open dialogue is best for us to develop quick chemistry on the pitch. “.”
Vogel called the meeting before Sunday’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies “very healthy”.
“Lots of conversations,” said Vogel. “Some really helpful discussions just to try and bring some clarity to some of the coverage we are setting out on. … Today was a great day of growth for us.”
There was much to dissect about the loss of the suns. Los Angeles only shot 39.5% as a team as it missed 12 layups while outscoring 52-26 in paint, and its defense dropped a staggering 71 points to Phoenix in the second and third quarters, who finished the game at 48, 8% as a. finished team.
“The guys are figuring out how to run with me and play a little faster. I find out how to do other things and move the ball away,” explained Westbrook, who averaged 11.5 points at 35.7% in the first two Playing scored. “I’m fine with the fight to find out and make sure we empower ourselves to do the right things so we can play our best basketball at the end of the year.”
The team rejected any lingering effects of the Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis disagreement just before Friday’s halftime, which required a split between the two great men.
“It’s over and we’re moving to the next game,” said Westbrook.
Another argument during the Suns game – this one between Rondo and a courtside fan at the end of the third quarter – was detailed, however.
Refusing to speak to reporters after the loss, Rondo first addressed the incident but didn’t want to say exactly what the fan was saying to him, just that it was enough for the point guard, “the guy out of the Game.”
“It doesn’t matter what he said,” said Rondo. “He didn’t threaten me. I didn’t threaten him. Exchange words.
When Rondo pointed to the fan to signal the referee to intervene, he appeared to be shaping his left hand into the shape of a weapon. After Rondo put his hand near the fan’s face and pressed his thumb down in what could be understood as an imitation of a trigger, the fan pushed Rondos away and the Staples Center security forces immediately removed him from the arena.
When asked whether it was his intention to present his hand as a weapon, Rondo said, “No.”