LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are off to a hot start to the 2022-23 season, and reporters aren’t shying away from criticizing Russell Westbrook for his poor shooting.
Following the Lakers’ 103-97 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, James spoke about the team’s struggles.
“I’m definitely not going to sit here and harp on what we can’t do every game,” James said when reporters asked him about his teammates’ missed shots.
At several NBA betting sites, the Lakers have top-10 odds to win the championship in 2023. But some sportsbooks are expecting them to miss the playoffs again this season.
LeBron James’ advice to Russell Westbrook after 0/11 shooting night: “Flush it down the toilet.” pic.twitter.com/8Fv1lPZ0YA
– Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) October 21, 2022
“This is not a leader. What do I know we can do? We can protect our asses. We did that tonight which gave us a chance to win and we just couldn’t do it. But I’m fine with that.”
James finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 37 minutes of action. Despite losing back-to-back games to open the 2022-23 season, the four-time NBA champion continues to add to his career double-double total.
The Lakers also shot 33-of-94 (35.1%) from the field and 9-of-45 (20%) from 3-point range. They went 0-9 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone.
Lakers forward LeBron James defends Russell Westbrook after shooting 0-of-17 overall against Clippers
The Lakers also played worse on Thursday night than they did in their opening day loss against the Golden State Warriors.
In the Lakers’ 123-109 loss to Golden State at the Chase Center, they shot 40-of-94 (42.6%) from the floor and 10-of-40 (25%) from downtown.
“If we support [sufficient outside shooting] Every game, then we’re in trouble,” James continued. “So I don’t worry or think about it.”
“It’s how hard we play, how aggressive we play, how determined we are to compete every night. And we must defend it. When we defend, we give ourselves the best chance to win.
Lakers need a shot!
They made just 24 of their 101 jump balls this season.
Starting with 5 jump shots, the first 2 games:
LeBron James ………… 6 of 22
Lonnie Walker ……… 3 of 14
Anthony Davis ………… 2 of 12
Patrick Beverley …… 2 of 11
Russell Westbrook… 2 of 11 pic.twitter.com/qPaqvezchn
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) October 21, 2022
Speaking of defense, LeBron James was ready to defend Russell Westbrook’s formidable offensive attack during the postgame interview.
When asked if he had any advice for Westbrook, the Lakers forward replied, “Just flush it down the toilet and get ready for Sunday.” “He is a veteran. We’ve all had bad shooting nights. Had some bad shooting nights.
In 27 minutes on the court, Russell Westbrook shot 0-of-11 from the field and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. He scored two points Thursday night while on a foul line.
“Everybody in this league has had bad shooting nights. who cares? I thought he played a great game. He was in a defensive rhythm. Locked in. Pushed the time. He didn’t make any shots, and that’s good.”
While defense can win the Lakers games, they also need consistent scorers. Even though LeBron James and Anthony Davis will have double-digit points again this season, it won’t be enough to win without a third star. Patrick Beverley finished 1-of-7 from the floor while Kendrick Nunen went 0-of-11 overall.