Former NBA Champion Explains How Russell Westbrook’s Turnovers Hurt Lakers Compared to LeBron James

Published 10/28/2021, 10:26 PM EDT
Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (left) with guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have surprised everyone with their start to the regular season. With a 2-3 record to begin the season, they are still in course of figuring things out. However, one major problem they are having is not having LeBron James. Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have been good, but James is a key performer.

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With LeBron James, he has now missed the last two Lakers games due to ankle soreness. The ‘King’ injured his ankle in the win against the Grizzlies. It did not seem serious, but is surely not a quick injury to recover from. Without him the Lakers are currently 1-1. Chemistry has been an issue since it is a new team. Moreover, turnovers are also coming in and the main player in focus is Russell Westbrook.

Oct 26, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) wants a foul call from the bench in the first half of the game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

While speaking about the Lakers, Kendrick Perkins compared a regular new looking team with that of the current Lakers who are full of experience.

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Kendrick Perkins says LeBron James and Lakers know what it takes

Up to this point. Russ has had a shaky start to his tenure with the Lakers. He has some extremely good games, but also games to forget. Recently, in their loss to OKC, Brodie recorded his first triple double as a Laker. However, he also put up 10 turnovers, which in turn hurt the winning chances.

Former NBA champion, Kendrick Perkins spoke about the situation with the purple and gold. While he does admit there are many new additions, he also points out that the team is full of veterans. As league vets, they know what it takes to win with several members having finals experience as well. Perkins also spoke about the difference in turnovers between LeBron James and Russ.

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Perk said: “I get all the 12 new players and I get all that. But we’re talking about a veteran ball club. We’re not talking about a young team, we’re talking about a veteran. Russell Westbrook has been to the finals. He knows what it takes, I was on that team. LeBron James has 4 championships. So, I mean you think about his turnovers, a lot of turnovers wasn’t his fault. Russell has a lot of unforced turnovers, it’s a difference.”

Being such an aggressive player, Russ often losses the ball during a dribble. There is no one from the opposing team causing the turnover. Sometimes due to his speed he steps out of bound or mishandles the ball. These kind of turnovers come up quite often as he averages 6 turnovers per game right now. For LeBron, for the most part, the turnovers come due to others’ mistakes or the opposing team stepping in. This is one of the issue the Lakers need to deal with when it comes to Westbrook as he needs to adjust to the Lakers’ speed.

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Do you think Westbrook will show out next game? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

521 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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