The LA Clippers need Russell Westbrook’s durability and presence to build chemistry
Russell Westbrook solves the LA Clippers’ biggest issue, which is the ability to stay healthy. The fans have found frustration through the injuries of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as well as their tactic to load manage throughout the season.
So far this year, Leonard has played in 34 of the Clippers’ 61 games, while George has played in 44. Moreover, since joining the Clippers, the superstar duo has played a total of 108 games together. This is mind boggling, mainly because Leonard missed an entire year due to a torn ACL.
This pertains to Westbrook as he has appeared in 52 of the Lakers’ 59 total games. This was not the case with John Wall, primarily because of his severe injury history. That said, if a strong level of chemistry is established, Leonard and George may feel the urge to play as much as possible. The only way for this to happen is if the trio shares the court for an extended period of time, prior to the start of the postseason.
Westbrook may be great at numerous aspects, but his play-making sets him apart from others. He is, by far, the most established passer the Clippers have had since the ‘Lob City’ era. Inserting a talent like Westbrook next to Leonard and George could be a game changer, especially if everything works out in favor of Lue’s game-plan.
Despite playing with one of the greatest players in history, Westbrook’s time with the Lakers is an unfair way to evaluate his impact this late in his career. There is certainly hope for Westbrook, as this was a decision that was encouraged by the players and coaching staff. The deciding factor remains on whether or not Westbrook is willing to adjust his game to help the team win a championship.