Mike D’Antoni On Reducing Russell Westbrook’s Minutes
The Houston Rockets fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 117-109 on Sunday evening.
A big reason why Houston struggled for large portions of Game 2 was the poor offensive play of Russell Westbrook.
The former league MVP finished with 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting from the field and 1-of-7 shooting from behind the three-point line.
On top of that, Westbrook committed half of the Rockets’ 14 total turnovers for the game.
Given how bad he looked, a reporter asked head coach Mike D’Antoni after the game whether he will give any consideration to reducing Westbrook’s minutes.
We could see a new three-headed monster very soon. https://t.co/8nzTLGrb3U
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 6, 2020
“We’re not going to win anything without Russell,” he said.
“He’s going to break through it. He’s more upset than anybody. He’s a great, great player. He’ll be fine. Not worried about him.”
Westbrook, for his part, gave a very honest recap of his performance.
“Right now I’m just running around,” he said. “I’ve got to look at film and figure out how to be effective.
Beyond his poor offensive play, Westbrook also took full blame for all his turnovers.
“It’s on me,” he said.
“I don’t point fingers at anybody else. I own my mistakes. I own what I do and that’s that.”
Rockets’ Russell Westbrook on his 7 turnovers in Game 2 loss to Lakers: “It’s on me. I don’t point fingers at anybody else. I own my mistakes. I own what I do and that’s that.” pic.twitter.com/6ZXMAWoBXf
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 7, 2020
James Harden finished Game 2 with 27 points and seven assists. When asked for his thoughts on the outing, he seemed fairly at peace with what transpired.
“We matched their intensity,” he said.
“They came out aggressive and I think we still did a pretty good job when we’ve been down… We gave them that run which got them up 20-something points.
“And against any team, no matter what team it is in this league, it’s just tough to come back down 20-something points, but we did. We gave ourselves a chance so you take away that and it’s a pretty good game.”
Game 3 between the Lakers and Rockets is scheduled for Tuesday night. It will go a long way in determining the course of this series.
If LA emerges victorious, it will inevitably bring about memories of the Portland Trail Blazers winning the first game of their series before losing the next four.
Should Houston come out on top, the Lakers will suddenly find themselves in the most trouble they’ve been in thus far in the postseason.