Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Knows His New Reserve Role Helps The Whole Team

November 2, 2022

Russell Westbrook

Here’s hoping Bench Russ can help the team win its second straight game tomorrow night.

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook was shifted to a sixth man role for L.A. in a close 111-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday, but didn’t fully realize his awesome potential as an energy-changing reserve cog until the following contest, a much-needed 121-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Arena Sunday.

During a team practice today, Westbrook spoke with gathered reporters regarding his new role, and how it helps him work in concert with his colleagues.

Here are some highlights from Westbrook’s comments today:

“When I’m in the right position to be able to help my teammates and make them better, it’s beneficial for everybody in my opinion. And my job is to find ways to keep making the team better, whatever… is needed… that night. Whether it’s assisting, scoring, rebounding, defending, I’m the person that prides myself on doing everything, each and every night, and I want to be able to have that trickle-down effect on the guys that I’m on the floor with.”

Westbrook’s fellow reserve Austin Reaves was also interviewed at practice today about the reinvigorated 2017 MVP:

“It brings a different feel for sure, especially with Russ, you see him getting active, feeling himself… His energy, his demeanor, and the way he plays can really be a staple for the bench guys.”

Across his two bench contests thus far, the 6’3″ former nine-time All-Star boasts a cumulative +18 plus-minus rating, averaging 18 points a night (on 12-of-29 shooting from the floor), eight rebounds, and 5.5 assists.

It’s only been two games. Let’s see what Brodie has in store for us tomorrow.

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