Lakers GM Rob Pelinka Explains The Importance of Russell Westbrook To The Team And How Analysts Are Getting Ahead of Themselves

Published 12/21/2021, 10:18 PM EST
Dec 15, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers celebrate guard Austin Reaves (15) making a three point shot to defeat the Dallas Mavericks during overtime at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA season is almost at its midway point. Hence, judging most teams in the league is possible. However, things seem to be different for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lake Show has had a shaky season so far, but Rob Pelinka believes they can’t be analyzed unless they are fully healthy.

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He also revealed the reason they decided to go for Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers have some big names on paper but injuries have not played well for them. They had several of their key players injured during the start of the season. Some of their top targets are yet to play a single minute in a purple and gold uniform.

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On the other hand, with James heading to 37 soon, reducing the workload on him would always be a priority.

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In a recent episode of Backstage Lakers, Rob Pelinka cleared two big things for the Lakers.

Can’t judge the Los Angeles Lakers yet?

On the latest episode, Pelinka spoke about the plans the Lakers had with Russell Westbrook. He explained the main reason they went for a ball-handler like him was to reduce the stress on LeBron James. Moreover, he also revealed that till the point the Lakers are completely healthy, they can’t be fully analyzed.

While it is quite deep into the season. Pelinka holds a fair point. In free agency, analysts urged the Lakers to bring in a sharpshooter. However, one thing they did not take into account was James’ age. The superstar showed signs of that early in the season as he picked up various injuries.

Hence, having a handler like Westbrook is crucial to them who is doing well, putting up 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 8.3 assists.

Dec 17, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas (31) passes against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

With the injuries, Pelinka spoke about Horton-Tucker, Trevor Ariza, and Kendrick Nunn. He explained how the Lakers’ goal was to create diversity between shooters and players who can defend. With injuries to these top targets, the Lakers can’t be truly analyzed as they aren’t at their fullest potential.

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Both Ariza and Nunn are great shooters – something the Lake show has lacked this season. While Ariza made his debut recently, Nunn is yet to recover from his injury as he closes in on his return as well.

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Do you think Nunn and Ariza can make the difference for the purple and gold? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Anuj Talwalkar

705 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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