After the Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs, the most pervasive analysis was breathless exclamations of some version of “that’s why you trade for Russell Westbrook.” While that wasn’t incorrect at the time, what we’ve seen in essentially every game since has flown in the face of that message.
While it’s still incredibly early in the season and there’s plenty of time for Westbrook (who starts slow historically) to turn things around, we need to see more consistent glimpses of what that might actually look like. We knew heading in that this was going to be process, but we’ve yet to see enough real progress.
This week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I welcomed Jacob Rude to discuss both that weird Lakers win and LaMelo Ball, who is quickly becoming one of the more entertaining players in the NBA.
From there, we jumped into what the hell happened to the Lakers, who should be the wily veteran team that doesn’t beat themselves but have spent quite a bit of time firing bullets at their own feet this year. It starts with leadership and, with LeBron James missing as much time as he has, Westbrook needed to step up. He hasn’t.
On top of the leadership issues, one thing I can’t quite stop thinking about is how little lift Westbrook has shown this season compared to what he has been capable of over his career.
The good news is Westbrook stepped right up after the game to take accountability for his acti-... oh, oh no.
Well hey, it’s a good things Jeanie Buss protected Lakers fans from unfortunate trades.
All was not doom and gloom following a win, though (and nor should it be). Jacob and I have absolutely loved the Carmelo Anthony experience, and especially at Staples Center. We also gave props to Anthony Davis for what he was able to in an actual flu game. Michael Jordan could never.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.