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Westbrook’s Lakers Debut Falls Flat On Opening Night Loss To Warriors

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The new “big three” in Los Angeles did not get off to a hot start on Tuesday night, with only two thirds of the trio rising to the occasion.

The outlier was guard Russell Westbrook, who made his debut in purple and gold. Westbrook, 32, went 4-of-13 from the field for eight points, and the Lakers were -26 with him on the court. Westbrook, a career 30% shooter from behind the arc, went 0-of-4 from three and turned it over four times.

It was not what the Lakers were expecting when they acquired the 2016-2017 MVP from the Wizards in July. The Lakers ultimately fell to the Warriors 121-114 at home in the Staples Center.

With only one ball to go around, Vogel said after the game it’ll take the time for the team to gel, especially with Westbrook now in the fold.

“Him more than anybody, it’s going to be an adjustment period,” Vogel said. “He’s coming into our culture, our system, he’s the new guy, he’s got to find his way. It’s difficult, when you’re used to being the guy that has the ball most nights, to be able to play off others like LeBron and A.D. It’s just a little bit different for him. He’s going to be great for us but it’s going to be an adjustment period.”

Westbrook’s fellow star teammates, forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis, were complete opposites of Westbrook. James shot 13-of-23 from the field for 34 points with 11 rebounds and five assists. Davis commanded the paint all night, shooting an efficient 15-of-26 from the field for 33 points and 11 boards. The two combined for 67 points but only got 47 from their supporting cast, with no other player going for double digits.

James was not concerned with Westbrook’s debut, and instead offered some advice for his new wingman.

“I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,” James said. “Put a smile on his face. Don’t be so hard on himself.”

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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  1. As a Laker fan I was flummoxed at the trade for Westbrook, especially all the pieces they gave up to match his exorbitant salary. He can’t shoot threes and Lebron already has the ball, which is really Westbrook’s only value. He can drive to the basket, shoot or dish. With that taken away he’s furniture. If he goes down low for some easy offensive rebounds(which he is known for) he’s cluttering the space Lebron and AD need to occupy. The deal to make was for Heild from Sacramento(for Kuzma and Harrell), which would have allowed them to keep Caldwell-Pope, a good three point shooter and wing defender.

    Lebron is a lousy GM

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