Lakers' Russell Westbrook: 'I Know I’m a Good Shooter...I'm Very Confident in Myself'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 9, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 06: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots baskets before a preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at T-Mobile Arena on October 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Timberwolves defeated the Lakers 114-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Shooting has long been one of Russell Westbrook's biggest issues on the court, but the Los Angeles Lakers star isn't lacking confidence in his jumper ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

"I know I'm a good shooter, and I'm very confident in myself and my ability to shoot the basketball," he said, per Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. "Just continue working on my craft as I always have and take good shots. The quality of shots is important. Making sure I'm not taking the bad ones is something I try to emphasize, attacking the basket."

Westbrook is a career 30.5 percent three-point shooter, and he has fallen below 30 percent in four of the last five seasons. But his comments come after The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha filed an encouraging report of his offseason preparations:

"During scrimmages, Westbrook has been doing many of the little things that the Lakers have asked of him. He's been an active on-ball screener. He's relentlessly pushing the pace in [head coach Darvin] Ham's uptempo system, looking for his teammates first and his own shot second. He's been engaged defensively, hounding ball-handlers while adjusting to Ham's new pick-and-roll coverage.
"Westbrook slightly refined his shooting form this summer, and sources say his catch-and-shoot three-point percentage has been improved in workouts and scrimmages."

Last year, the nine-time All-Star hit 29.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot opportunities from beyond the arc, per NBA.com, which casts some doubt on how he'd perform in a more off-ball role.

However, he did go 18-of-36 from the left corner and 5-of-15 from the right corner. The Lakers might have some success with putting Westbrook in the corner and letting him fire away.

And if the 33-year-old can succeed in helping Los Angeles space the floor, it will open up the offense in a big way.