On Friday, Russell Westbrook improved for the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Today’s match starts at 8 pm.
Westbrook sat out the Lakers’ 110-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday with a hamstring injury. However, the team is not playing well with or without the nine-time All-Star.
From various NBA betting sites, the Lakers have the 15th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Few sportsbooks have dropped their title chances once the 2022-23 season begins.
The Lakers’ Russell Westbrook is up for tonight’s return against the Timberwolves.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 28, 2022
The Lakers did not start 0-4 during Dr. Jerry Buss’ 34-year ownership tenure. The Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings are the other winless teams.
Russell Westbrook is also off to a torrid offensive start to the 2022-23 season.
Through three games, the two-time scoring champion is averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2 steals. As LeBron James continued to praise Westbrook for his defensive play, the guard missed several shots.
Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has been confirmed for tonight’s game against the Timberwolves.
“It’s a new system,” LeBron said of the Lakers’ struggles. Together is a new boy band. We are still trying to get to know each other.
Russell Westbrook is shooting 11-of-38 (28.9%) from the field and 1-of-12 (8.3%) from 3-point range. For a 15-year veteran, these numbers are nothing to celebrate.
During the playoffs, the guard exercised his $47,063,478 player option for this season. If Lakers GM Rob Pelinka tries to trade Mr. Triple Double soon, his next team will need the necessary cap space.
Very few NBA analysts believe Westbrook can’t be traded because of his contract. Not to mention, the guard turns 34 this November.
Lakers injury report from MIN…
Can be asked
Russell Westbrook (left hamstring)
Anthony Davis (lower back tightness)
LeBron James (Left Leg Pain)
Thomas Bryant (UCL left)
Dennis Schroeder (right UCL)
Scottie Pippen Jr. (2-way)
Cole Swider (2-way)
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) October 27, 2022
Now, three games is a small sample size. So maybe the veteran deserves the benefit of the doubt. Then again, Russell Westbrook has underperformed since Washington traded him to the Lakers last August.
In 65 starts during the 2020-21 season, the guard averaged a career-high 11.7 assists, along with 22.2 points, 11.5 boards and 1.4 steals.
Last season, in 78 starts with the Lakers, the UCLA product averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1 steal per game. He also shot 44.4% from the floor and 29.8% from beyond the arc.
Other players on the Lakers’ injury report include SF Cole Swider (out), SF LeBron James (probable), C Anthony Davis (questionable) and SF Juan Toscano-Anderson (out).
According to the ESPN Basketball Power Index, the Timberwolves have a 64.6% chance of beating the Lakers tonight. Los Angeles is a 7-point dog on the road. Will Russell Westbrook and the Lakers get their first win of the season at Target? Feel free to place bets.