The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 on Christmas Day. While the final score indicates that the outing was a close one, that’s only the case because of a late run by LA that ultimately came up short.
Given that this game took place in Los Angeles and taking into account that the Nets were without two of their three best players – the outcome was a disaster for the Lakers on all fronts.
They now sit at 16-18 on the year.
One big reason LA fell on Saturday evening was the play of Russell Westbrook. He shot 4-of-20 from the field and was tied for a team-high three turnovers. On the day, he finished with a +/- of -23.
This play, which occurred with the game on the line, perfectly encapsulated what Westbrook brought to the table on Saturday:
Russell Westbrook getting stuffed by the rim on a dunk attempt 👀 pic.twitter.com/M72D7uaNfh
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) December 26, 2021
After the game, Lakers star LeBron James got brutally honest about Westbrook’s showing versus Brooklyn.
“I think he had an off-shooting night,” James said of Westbrook.
“I think he missed so many shots around the rim that he’s been accustomed to making throughout his career and throughout this season. So, not worried about too much of that.”
Bizarrely, James then pointed to Westbrook’s decision-making in an effort to take a “glass half full” approach.
“His decision-making was spectacular tonight,” James said.
“He had 12 rebounds, five of them offensive. And we know we’re not one of the better offensive rebounding teams in this league. He gave us extra possessions.”
Big picture, the Lakers are in trouble. They know they need to get rid of Westbrook – ASAP.
That’s one way to make a hospital visit less scary. https://t.co/1caZtYH4iq
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 25, 2021
So far the front office has had conversations with two teams regarding a possible Westbrook swap, but it remains to be seen if anything will ultimately materialize on that front.
If it doesn’t, despite what Dwight Howard says, things will likely get a lot worse before they get better for the Lakers.