Russell Westbrook Doubtful (Hamstring) vs. Denver. Should Troy Brown Jr. Enter Starting Lineup?

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By Locked On Podcast Network and Brian Kamenetzky. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

At practice on Tuesday, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said "not today" when asked about making a change to the starting lineup. Only minutes later, the Lakers announced that Russell Westbrook would be listed as "doubtful" for Wednesday's game in Denver thanks to a hamstring injury that popped up in the preseason. Maybe Darvin knew that decision could be made for him?

With Westbrook sidelined, Wednesday's game takes on an entirely different meaning. If the Lakers play well with him out of the lineup, it could be the used as the evidence Ham needs to make an adjustment to the rotation. That's particularly true if the injury costs Westbrook Friday's game in Minnesota, as well.

Or, if the Lakers continue to falter, the panic meter rises because the guy people tend to blame for all of this isn't there, and the Lakers are still struggling. Either way, the conversation still centers around him, which gets to another stress on this season so far - Westbrook is sucking up tremendous amounts of oxygen. At some point, this just gets exhausting for teammates, and can be a drag (even if, as Anthony Davis said Tuesday, the team is still rallying around Russ).

So is there any chance this absence is the beginning of the end for Russ? Whether as a starter, or even a player who is with the team on a day-to-day basis?

The Lakers would want to think carefully about sending Westbrook home purely for poor play.

And in his absence, how should Ham adjust the starting lineup? There's a compelling case to be made for Troy Brown Jr., despite a relatively quiet debut on Sunday against Portland.

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: Westbrook likely out on Wednesday in Denver. Try not to get too happy about the physical pain of another human being, Lakers fans!

SEGMENT 2: Is there any chance this starts the ball rolling on Westbrook to the bench? Or even to being sent home?

SEGMENT 3: The case for Troy Brown Jr. to be inserted into the starting lineup.

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