Russell Westbrook Unimpressed By Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers put no fear in Russell Westbrook’s heart.
Speaking to the media ahead of his team’s second round showdown against LeBron James and Co., Westbrook dismissed the idea that he was worried about what Los Angeles brought to the table.
“I never worry about the other team,” he said.
Russell Westbrook on facing the Lakers: “I never worry about the other team.” pic.twitter.com/uwlgcAREcv
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 3, 2020
In Westbrook’s opinion, if Houston plays the way he believes the squad can, the Lakers will fall.
“I think when we play the way we need to play, it’s tough to beat us,” he said.
“So our job now is to focus on how we can adjust to that series, I would say. [The Lakers] are obviously a good team. They’ve been a good team all year long.”
The Rockets enter their match-up against LA as an underdog. Getting pushed to seven games by an Oklahoma City Thunder group that many didn’t envision even making the postseason took some shine off Houston as a trendy darkhorse title contender.
Most odds makers have the Lakers listed at -355 to win the series. The expectation is that it will take five games.
That said, the Rockets won the season series 2-1. Both victories came after Mike D’Antoni fully committed to his small ball strategy.
It remains to be seen if the Lakers will be able to counteract it better in the postseason than they did in the regular season.
Cavs fans are pissed. https://t.co/bixgqiZ0Xs
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 3, 2020
Russell Westbrook Is Lethal, Says Lebron
While Westbrook was careful not to offer too much praise regarding his opposition, James went the opposite route.
The Lakers star was effusive in his admiration for both Westbrook and James Harden.
“With Russ, he’s just an assassin,” he said.
“I mean, he’s full throttle, and he could care less what anyone thinks about his game, he goes out and plays his way, and he’s been successful in doing that.”
When it came to Harden, James highlighted his durability, reliability and consistency.
“With James (Harden), it’s how available he is to his teammates night in and night out,” he said.
“If you look at how many games he plays per year, and how many minutes he plays throughout the course of his career, pretty much he’s always been available.
“He’s always been in uniform and he’s been doing this at a high level for a lot of years. That’s what kind of gets lost in translation because everyone looks at Euro stepping and step-back 3s, but when you’re available to your teammates, that’s gigantic to any sport, any craft or anything that you’re doing in life.”
A lot of legacies will written, re-written and cemented over the course of this series.
Can James will his team to the Western Conference Finals? Will Anthony Davis justify the Lakers’ investment in him?
Does Harden finally shake his postseason demons against one of the greatest of all time? Will Westbrook prove that his partnership with Harden is better than the one that existed prior between Harden and Chris Paul?
A lot of questions will be answered by what ultimately transpires in this Western Conference semifinal series.
Game 1 tips off on Friday at 6:00 pm PT.