Lakers Twitter Puzzled by Russell Westbrook's Minutes in Win In LeBron James' Return

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 26, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 25: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on November 25, 2022 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth game in five tries after defeating the host San Antonio Spurs 105-94 in a wire-to-wire victory on Friday at AT&T Center.

Anthony Davis continued his torrid stretch with 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks. LeBron James posted 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists but had nine turnovers in his return from an adductor strain that cost him five games.

The most notable statistic from the box score, however, may be the 19 minutes that Russell Westbrook played off the bench.

The nine-time All-Star has transitioned to a bench role this season, but he still entered Friday averaging 29 minutes per game. He's also closed out matchups despite not starting.

However, he was on the bench more often than not against the Spurs and sat all but 1:10 of the fourth quarter as head coach Darvin Ham rolled James, Davis, Dennis Schroder, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves to finish this out before the benches cleared.

Westbrook didn't play well, hitting just one of seven field goals for his three points and committing three turnovers. But he was productive elsewhere with seven assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals.

It remains to be seen if the reduced playing time is the beginning of a new normal.

Still, Westbrook's lack of action late stood out, and Lakers Twitter was either left puzzled or wondering what the point of him still being on the team was if he wasn't going to play much.

Lakers Daily @LakersDailyCom

Darvin Ham is wild for pulling Russell Westbrook after just 1 minute of action in the 4th quarter.

FlictENT💯 @CJflict3

<a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> so what’s the point of keeping Russell Westbrook if he gets benched the whole 4th in a close game with the spurs🤣💯🤦🏾

Beastbrook @Beastbr00k0

Ham rotations are complete garbage and everyone knows it. He literally sabotaged Russell Westbrook today. If Lakers played a real team it would be a blowout loss. Horrible coach

DreLakerNation2408 @EarlyDreDay

No cap <a href="https://twitter.com/russwest44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@russwest44</a> should ask for a buyout. Tbh I think it’s just best. Or pelinka really need to just trade dude. I just didn’t like the less action Russ got and I mean if it’s going to be like that then let him go

Danny 🇵🇹 @CDan7el

<a href="https://twitter.com/russwest44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@russwest44</a> ask for the trade the disrespect is too much

linden 🎱 (6-14) @lindenl25

i speak for EVERYONE when i say russell westbrook needs to be on the floor during crunch time.

Nour @Ruonq20

Lakers sabotaging Russell Westbrook’s career right before our very eyes

Danny 🇵🇹 @CDan7el

Westbrook agreed to come off the bench, sacrificed himself for the team and this is the way Ham treats him? I'm done Russ has to leave Los Angeles immediately

Goodzzz @Dagoodzzz

Need my boy <a href="https://twitter.com/russwest44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@russwest44</a> out of LA. This team is not for u fam


What a joke. Westbrook comes back into the game dosent touch the ball either possession and gets subbed out………. Lebron than turns it over

The Lakers will stay in San Antonio to play the Spurs again Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.