Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Los Angeles Lakers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts, and check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about how 71% of Lakers fans were still just as confident in their favorite team as they were during the offseason, despite a winless preseason. And a week before that, we covered how 79% of the purple and gold supporters we polled were confident the team would not regret their trade for Russell Westbrook.
11 games into the season, it’s fair to say that those sentiments have... shifted... just a bit. In our latest SB Nation Reacts survey of Lakers fans, we asked if they still think Russell Westbrook can fit with this team.
The votes were nearly dead even, but it’s clear that quite a few fans have lost faith in Russ:
Given that the Lakers have gotten off to a disappointing 6-5 start while Westbrook leads the NBA in turnovers per game (5.1) and shoots the seventh-worst percentage in the league (41.1%) among players to take more than 17 attempts per game, this loss of faith is not surprising.
Still, there are reasons to hold out hope. In limited quantities, Westbrook has shown effectiveness as both a screener and cutter, two skills that could allow him to find more effectiveness when LeBron James eventually returns to the lineup.
But given the early returns on the Westbrook trade not being great and James’ nebulous injury situation, it’s also not a shock that the Lakers aren’t considered the most surprising slow starter in the league. Given everything going on and how many questions there were coming into the season, them sitting second behind the Milwaukee Bucks feels about fair.
Agree with the takeaways above? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below, and to vote in future Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.
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