Many pointed to Russell Westbrook's struggles as a big reason why the Lakers lost to the KD and Kyrie-less Nets on Christmas Day. However, LeBron James came to the defense of the 14-year vet. Telling reporters that Westbrook's effort was a big reason why LA was able to climb out of a 20-point hole and be in position to steal a home W.
"He gave us extra possessions, he gave us a lot of looks around the basket, which I know that he can't stand [failing to convert] as well," James said.
"But as far as the effort piece, if a guy plays hard, if a guy leaves it all out on the floor, I got no problem with that," he continued. "It's a make-or-miss league."
LeBron also described Westbrook's decision-making as "spectacular" after the nine-time All-Star finished with double-digit assists.
Russ shot just 4-20 from the field in the holiday loss. He finished with only 13 points, but was able to contribute across the board. Adding 12 rebounds and 11 assists to just three turnovers.
While Westbrook has his critics, one thing no one can question is his tenacity. Arguably, no one plays harder on a possession-to-possession basis than Russ. And while his Tasmanian Devil style-of-play can get him into trouble at times, it's also what's made him an MVP and triple-double king.
So far in Los Angeles, Westbrook has been one of the few constants for Lake Show fans.
Russ has appeared in all 34 games for the team. While LeBron James has missed a dozen and co-star Anthony Davis has missed seven and counting. AD is expected to be out at least another month with an MCL sprain.
The Lakers currently sit in the seventh seed of the Western Conference at 16-18.