In a season filled with ups and downs for the Los Angeles Clippers, one shining beacon of consistency emerged in the form of Russell Westbrook. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue believes that Westbrook is not just a valuable addition but a perfect fit for the team. Let’s dive into why Westbrook has garnered such praise and what the future might hold.
Westbrook’s Remarkable Improvement
One of the most notable aspects of Westbrook’s tenure with the Clippers was his remarkable improvement in various facets of his game. During the regular season, his turnovers remained flat, and his shooting numbers soared. Notably, his shooting percentage from midrange saw a significant boost:
- Shooting between three to 10 feet improved by 17 percentage points.
- Shooting between 10 to 16 feet increased by 15 percentage points.
These improvements showcased Westbrook’s dedication and adaptability.
However, Westbrook’s future with the Clippers isn’t guaranteed. To continue with the team, he might have to accept a more modest contract. The Clippers lack Westbrook’s Bird rights, limiting their offer to approximately $3.8 million, just above the minimum salary. Despite this financial constraint, Coach Lue is eager to retain Westbrook, acknowledging his value to the team.
Westbrook’s impact on and off the court hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates. Paul George, who actively advocated for Westbrook’s addition in February, has been vocal about his desire to see Westbrook stay. George appreciates Westbrook’s leadership and determination, considering him the ideal point guard for the Clippers’ future.
Adaptation and Versatility
Russell Westbrook’s commitment to the team was evident not only in his individual growth but also in his willingness to adapt to different roles. He embraced setting screens, a task he hadn’t frequently undertaken in his previous teams. Furthermore, when injuries sidelined stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the playoffs, Westbrook stepped up as a primary scoring option. He averaged 23.6 points during this crucial period, marking his highest postseason average in five years.
A Positive Team Environment
One aspect that struck Westbrook during his time with the Clippers was the team’s positive and enjoyable atmosphere. He contrasted this with his tumultuous start of the season with the Lakers, emphasizing the importance of a happy and enjoyable environment at work.
The Road Ahead
The question of whether Russell Westbrook will continue his journey with the Clippers will be answered in July. As an unrestricted free agent, Westbrook has a choice to make. The Clippers and their fans hope he chooses to stay, as his presence has undeniably made a significant impact on the team’s performance and culture.
In summary, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue’s belief in Russell Westbrook as a valuable fit for the team seems well-founded, considering Westbrook’s remarkable improvements, adaptability, and the positive team environment he helped foster. As the offseason approaches, the Clippers face the challenge of securing Westbrook’s future with the team, a decision that could shape their upcoming seasons.
Future Prospects: Russell Westbrook and the Clippers
Will Russell Westbrook help the Clippers win a championship?
The Los Angeles Clippers have high hopes for Russell Westbrook, their newly signed point guard, and his potential impact on their championship aspirations this season. However, Head Coach Tyronn Lue maintains a balanced perspective, emphasizing that they want Westbrook to stay true to himself. Lue stated, "We want Russ to be Russ." Whether he’s taking charge or showing restraint, the Clippers will provide guidance as needed, but they trust in his ability to make a significant contribution.
Why did the Clippers promote Mike Lue in 2020?
In 2020, the Clippers made a significant decision to promote Mike Lue to a key coaching role. This choice was made over other notable candidates, such as future Lakers coach Darvin Ham and future Sacramento coach Mike Brown. The reason behind this decision was the belief that Lue was the most suitable candidate to lead a team boasting two superstars with championship aspirations. Importantly, this conviction in Lue’s abilities remains unchanged to this day.
Who is Russell Westbrook?
Russell Westbrook, the dynamic NBA player, is set to make his debut with the LA Clippers this week. After being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Utah Jazz in a recent three-team trade that included the Minnesota Timberwolves, Westbrook is now poised to join his fifth NBA team. His potential first appearance for the Clippers could take place as early as Friday night when they face off against the Sacramento Kings.
Do the Clippers have a player-run retreat?
Do the Clippers organize player-run retreats? Indeed, much like several other NBA teams, the Clippers have engaged in informal player-run retreats in the past. One notable instance was their gathering in San Diego in August. However, what stood out was their recent experience in Las Vegas, organized by Russell Westbrook. As the Clippers commenced their training camp, center Mason Plumlee shared his appreciation, describing Westbrook as an "amazing host."