Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James backed Russell Westbrook after the Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fifth consecutive game. Westbrook had one of his worst games as a member of the Lakers as he shot 4-of-20 from the field and finished with 13 points.
Westbrook even notched a triple-double as he had 12 rebounds and 11 assists but his poor shooting marked the game in a 122-115 loss suffered to the Brooklyn Nets. "He gave us extra possessions, he gave us a lot of looks around the basket, which I know that he can't stand [failing to convert] as well," James said, per ESPN.
"But as far as the effort piece, if a guy plays hard, if a guy leaves it all out on the floor, I got no problem with that. It's a make-or-miss league."
Acting head coach David Fizdale also defended Westbrook
"A big part of it is he just wants it so bad," Fizdale said.
"I mean, you can just see it in him, everybody does. He wants it so bad. And I know that's just hard for him when it doesn't work out. And I know he cares like crazy. "I just want him to take a lot of that pressure off himself, keep attacking, keep playing the way we know he can."
The Lakers played without star big man Anthony Davis. The Lakers have had so many players in an out of the lineup in recent weeks. Coach Fizdale thought Westrbook has been pressing too much over the last few games because he wants to help the team win.
"I think the circumstances over the last few games, with so many people being in and out, triggered in him that he had to save us," Fizdale said. "Some of his plays, he was probably moving too fast or trying to press when things aren't there.
And again, these are things that we [addressed]. We had a great film session. Guys are very open and receptive and we just talked about connection things. How do we [get this right?] OK, instead of this play, what can we do within our offensive fundamentals to lead to a great shot for us? How do we use your talent that draws all of these players to make sure that that leads to a great shot for us? "And so that's what the whole film session was about offensively and again, a lot of this stuff is connection."