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Russell Westbrook: What I'm Doing 'Ain't Good Enough' After Lakers' 3rd Straight Loss

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMarch 2, 2022

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Russell Westbrook took responsibility for the Los Angeles Lakers' recent struggles after another poor shooting night in the team's 109-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

Westbrook knocked down just five of his 17 shots from the field, including none of his four three-point attempts, in 38 minutes against the Mavs.

"Got to be better overall," he told reporters. "What I'm doing right now ain't good enough. It ain't good enough."

Westbrook was acquired in August to put a third star alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, with the hope he could provide a spark to a roster that didn't have one for much of last season.

Those plans haven't come to fruition. The 33-year-old UCLA product has averaged 18.1 points, his lowest figure since the 2009-10 season, along with 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists through 60 games.

The biggest problem has been his lack of offensive efficiency. He's shooting just 43.2 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free-throw line while turning the ball over 4.0 times per game.

Westbrook also continues to insist on throwing up threes despite it being a weak area of his skill set. He's shooting just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, which is actually below his lackluster career average of 30.4 percent, but he's still taking 3.4 triples per contest.

Put all that together with subpar defense and the veteran guard ranks 246th out of 250 qualified NBA players in FiveThirtyEight's WAR metric.

His underwhelming play combined with extended injury absences by both James and Davis—the latter remains sidelined with a foot injury—has resulted in the Lakers owning a 27-34 record. That includes six losses in their past seven games.

Westbrook is convinced L.A. can still figure things out before season's end, though:

"Super confident that we're going to be all right. I've got confidence in this group, like I always have. And we can play the best teams. I'm not worried about nobody we have to play. We've beaten the best teams; we've lost to some of the worst teams. So, our confidence and my confidence in this group is extremely high because I know what we're capable of when we put our mind to it and do exactly what we need to do on a night-in, night-out basis."

The Lakers' margin for error is shrinking fast, however, as they sit ninth in the Western Conference and just two games clear of missing the play-in tournament. The Portland Trail Blazers are currently the first team out at 25-36.

Westbrook, James and Co. will look to start turning things around Thursday night when they take on the rival Los Angeles Clippers.

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