When asked if he would have to deal with any repercussions with the point guard as a result of his decision to bench Russell Westbrook for the last three possessions of Sunday’s 106-104 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers. Lakers coach Darvin Ham was unyielding.
We don’t have time for emotions or individuals who are experiencing them. Like, we’re attempting to change this After the Blazers’ victory. Which left the Lakers at 0-3 on the year, Ham remarked. I don’t have time for one individual to express their opinions about when, where, or how they should participate in the game.
With 4:42 left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers leading by eight points. Ham brought back Russell Westbrook into the game. Westbrook ended the game with 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting, six rebounds, six assists, and zero turnovers. Before Ham removed Westbrook with 12.4 seconds left, Portland had scored 10 more points than Los Angeles in the following four and a half minutes.
In the final stretch, L.A. struggled as a unit, going 3-for-9 overall and 0-for-4 from three. Which helped the Lakers have a 6-for-33 day from the free-throw line (18.2%), raising their season total to 25-for-118.
With 27.3 seconds left in the game and 18 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Westbrook missed one of those shots. He missed a 15-foot pull-up jumper with L.A. leading 102-101 after Blazers centre Jusuf Nurkic practically urged him to shoot it by creating space with his defence.
According to Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, “putting him on Russ. We were simply going to kind of play off of Russ at that time.” Nurkic was switched to guard Westbrook. When questioned about the shot, Westbrook said that he was attempting to complete a two-for-one. A move in which one attempts to obtain two offensive possessions before the end of a quarter by looking for a scoring opportunity early in the shot clock on the first one. Ham claimed that he disagreed with Westbrook’s tactic more so than the position of his shot.
Ham added, I just wish we’d gone straight for the rim. Teams want you to take and give up that one shot. Whether it be a long two, a disputed two, or something else. I wish he had done it because he still had a high degree of explosiveness and ability to get to the hoop. More so with Nurkic there in the back with five fouls.
Shot selection is something we have to work on, Ham continued.
LeBron James was questioned about his attitude on going for a two-for-one when you have the lead rather than playing from behind. James led Los Angeles with 31 points but missed a possible game-tying shot at the buzzer.
James remarked, “I feel like this interview is attempting to set me up to say something. “I can tell you guys now fall under the Russell Westbrook umbrella and dislike losing. I detest losing in any situation. No matter what occurs throughout the course of my season or career. I detest losing. and in particular how we conducted this game. But give Portland credit.
You folks are free to write about Russ and attempt to talk about him in whatever way you want, but I’m not up here to do that. No, I won’t. I’ve repeated it several times. That is not how I operate. I’m not like that at all.
But James’ reaction to a question about how he tries to trick opposition defenders later in his press conference was insightful. James stated, I always have time, the score, what’s happening. And how the defence has been playing me throughout the game, it’s constantly in my brain. I’m not just wandering about, that much is clear. Anthony Davis had a tremendous game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking 6 shots.
The shooting has not been as excellent as the defence. Davis was clearly upset and stated. That’s a significant difference; following the loss, James called the team’s mentality “s—-ty,”.
The worst situation you can be in is with a group of guys who are ecstatic after a defeat. So, it describes the current mood. However, I’ll leave my frustration and my possessions here. I’m leaving it here after I’ve driven out of the tunnel.
With two games on the road against the 2-1 Denver Nuggets on Wednesday and the 1-0 Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, L.A. resumes its early-season schedule. Davis asserted, There’s no way we’re supposed to lose this game. That’s where my annoyance stems from.
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