The Lakers Beat Denver and Get Their First Win as Crowd Embraces Russell Westbrook

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Manage episode 345717000 series 1657213
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.

The Lakers got their first win of the 2022-23 season Sunday, beating the Denver Nuggets 121-110 at the Crypt. It was significant in a bunch of ways, first and foremost... they finally won a game. Things were getting a little tight, you know? It's Darvin Ham's first NBA win. The Lakers hit over 40% of their 3-pointers, and had five players in double figures, a first for this season's group.

But most of all, it was the home debut of Sixth Man Russell Westbrook, and the results were excellent. He came off the bench and provided pace and energy - that's the goal, always - but did so with much more efficiency than was there Friday against Minnesota. 18 points, eight rebounds, eight assists on 50% shooting and a reasonable three turnovers over 32 minutes.

He served as a hype man for a home crowd dying for something to cheer for. And they did cheer... for Westbrook! Something that has happened very infrequently for the LA native since his homecoming.

Is this something that can be built on? Does it mean Westbrook is going to start fitting in, as opposed to fitting out? Will he fight the bench role? Two games in, the answer is no. Not to say it/he will always be as effective as it was on Sunday, but for the time being Westbrook has clearly bought into what Ham is asking of him, and is doing his best to perform as the gig demands.

What was behind the fan support? Because there's a lot of baggage and psychology in play, here.

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: The Lakers won! And they hit shots! Those things are related!

SEGMENT 2: Westbrook is embracing, or at least not actively resisting, his new role as a sixth man.

SEGMENT 3: What was behind the fans embracing Westbrook? How likely is it to continue?

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1609 episodes