That means possibly a preview of the starting lineup and rotations that will be seen during the regular season.
One insider predicts Russell Westbrook won’t be in the starting lineup on opening night, and sure enough, he won’t be in the starting lineup versus Sacramento. However, according to head coach Darvin Ham, Westbrook has had a good attitude about possibly coming off the bench.
Darvin Ham on trying Westbrook off the bench: “He’s been a pro. He totally understood. He said ‘Yeah coach, whatever you need me to do.’
For him to trust us and what we’re trying to take some notes on – him being in that part of the rotation – my hat’s off to him.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 15, 2022
Many fans and observers have been calling for the 2017 league MVP to be moved to the bench for the good of the team. Reportedly, some in the Lakers organization have been wanting it to happen as far back as the middle of last season.
But then-head coach Frank Vogel kept Westbrook in the starting lineup all season.
One big difference between last year’s Lakers and this year’s Lakers is depth. L.A. has much more viable depth this season, especially in the backcourt.
In Dennis Schroder, Kendrick Nunn and Patrick Beverley, it has three very capable small guards who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Nunn is a very reliable and efficient scoring and ball-handler, Schroder is a ball-handling and distributing guard who can also score, while Beverley is a 3-and-D player.
They can allow the Lakers to get away with benching Westbrook, as well as possibly trading him, should a palatable deal present itself at some point.
The triple-double maestro hasn’t played well so far this preseason, as he hasn’t been that aggressive offensively for the most part. Tonight, with Anthony Davis out once again because of lower back tightness, it would help the team if Westbrook looks to score more than he has in the preseason so far.