Russell Westbrook has been able to turn it up the past few weeks, though the Los Angeles Lakers have been unable to turn that production into wins.
The Lakers have lost their last six games, with their most recent defeat a tough one against the Denver Nuggets. Los Angeles was without LeBron James, who was ruled out late with a sore ankle, leaving Westbrook and Anthony Davis to lead the team.
Westbrook and the Lakers are seeing their chances of making the Play-In Tournament slip through their fingers, though the guard is keeping the same approach for their remaining four games. “You got to take it one day at a time. Go out and compete to the best of your ability. If you leave it on the floor, whatever the results are, you can live with it,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook and Davis had excellent performances against Denver, and while it would be easy to hang their heads, Westbrook instead is proud of how hard the team collectively fought.
“Regardless of what happened throughout the game, we didn’t get a chance to close the way we wanted to. It’s a tough one, but like I said, you can live with it if you leave it all on the floor and I feel like guys played hard and gave their best effort and we can live with that.”
The Lakers certainly had their chances to come out with a win against the Nuggets as they took advantage of their lethargic opponent. However, their late-game execution was lacking on both ends which ultimately led to their downfall.
The Purple and Gold are going to need several things to go their way if they hope to make the Play-In, though at least they have a fighting chance with how they have competed as of late. The Phoenix Suns are next on tap, and with them already locked into the No. 1 seed it will be interesting to see if the Lakers catch a break.
Los Angeles has had trouble all season closing out games, often times unraveling at the worst possible moments. Westbrook tried to explain that their struggles could not be pinned to just one issue.
“Sometimes it’s [fatigue] and sometimes it’s execution and sometimes it’s just getting good shots, getting stops, not fouling. It’s a lot of different variables, I can’t pinpoint one thing, every game is a little bit different. So it kind of varies.”
As someone who has been on the floor for several of those rough moments, Westbrook had to admit that it gets frustrating even for him.
“Yeah, it can be. Especially when you’re on the floor watching it.”
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