Will the Lakers Bring Russell Westbrook Off the Bench to Start the Season?

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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.

The preseason is over, and the Lakers at least tried to make headlines in the finale, bringing Russell Westbrook off the bench against the Kings. Unfortunately, the night turned into a dud, because Westbrook left the game in the first quarter, not all that long after checking in, with a hamstring injury and didn't return. (And no, people, he wasn't faking as a passive-aggressive way of protesting the move.) So the Lakers didn't really get to see what Westbrook on the bench looks like, or how it impacted the starters over the course of a game.

Definitely a disappointment.

So what happens now? The Lakers believe Westbrook could be available for Tuesday's opener in San Francisco against the Warriors. Will Darvin Ham start Westbrook? Would it be smart, if that's their inclination overall, just to get it over with? There are certainly basketball reasons that make Westbrook as a reserve seem like a quality idea, namely making it easier to stagger Westbrook's minutes against LeBron's, but how ultimately does all of this play out?

Meanwhile, the preseason ended with a thud, and a 1-5 record. Obviously wins and losses aren't the most important thing in pretend games, and there were times at least to be encouraged by what the Lakers showed. Ultimately, though, did the Lakers get what they needed out of their six games? Were they able to sketch out a rotation? Fill in the chemistry between James, Westbrook and Anthony Davis? Try to jump start the process of chemistry building for a brand new roster operating in a brutal conference?

No, not really.

And with a very challenging opening schedule, all of this could be a problem. Plus, being scratched late from multiple games only makes you extremely nervous about Anthony Davis. The 3-point shooting never came around. Do you feel better about this team now, or worse?

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: Russell Westbrook comes off the bench. Good idea?

SEGMENT 2: Will the Lakers keep Russ as a reserve for the opener?

SEGMENT 3: Reflections on a preseason that went the wrong direction.

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1609 episodes