Russell Westbrook is a long way away from his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the spotlight burns bright. Westbrook is searching for a way to break this team’s slump. As of now, he’s in a personal struggle of his own.
Wednesday’s 125-116 loss to the Sacramento Kings produced another set of Westbrook lowlights. He finished shooting 2/14 from the field (14.3 FG%). The turnovers were down, but it didn’t matter in part to the extremely negative impact his shooting provided. This game is a drop into the bucket of other flat games. Over his last four contests, he’s only making 25.4% of his field goals. It’s a nasty statistic for a player that is much more capable than the numbers show.
Head coach Frank Vogel believes the same thing. In his postgame, he spoke about what Westbrook is experiencing (per Jacob Rude of Silver Screen & Roll):
“He’s just in a slump right now, finishing at the basket and finishing at the perimeter. We just have to help him through it.”
It’s a slump indeed for Westbrook. It’s a sight that is almost unbelievable to see in real time.
The man himself goes on to describe his last few games as well as how he’s going to get out of this “slump”, a word that he apparently doesn’t like to use (quote transcribed originally by Jacob Rude/Silver Screen & Roll):
“Honestly, the world “slump” is not something I, like, lean on. I stay locked into my craft and figure it out. I’m just in the position of trying to figure out the best way to play at the moment and it’s simple as that.”
The best thing about the NBA is you get a chance to go back to the drawing board and look at how you can be effective at least from the scoring side of it and make adjustments and find ways to be able to just make a f***ing shot. That’s it.”
Look, he’s one of our all-time basketball greats. He’s an even better person off the floor. As the elites decline, they say your reputation is the last thing to go.
There is still time left. It’s a ton of basketball that must be played before the playoffs start. If the Lakers plan to get far in those playoffs, it has to start with improvement from Russ, amongst other factors. The slump must come to an end at some point soon. And it’ll have to come in his lay-ups most importantly, as we all know the jump-shot will continue to struggle.
Westbrook will look to snap out of it as this road trip continues, with a trip to Denver to face the Nuggets on Saturday next on the docket.