The Los Angeles Lakers were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks 128-110 on Tuesday and Russell Westbrook was not in the talking mood after falling out of the play-in game picture.
Westbrook was asked about what the Lakers can change over the final few games to make the postseason by Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times and his response was: “Nothing man, nothing.”
That sparked quite the back and forth between Turner and Westbrook, who has had his spats with the media during his first season in Los Angeles. Westbrook got up and tried to leave but Turner insisted on getting the Lakers guard’s point of view on the situation — a logical move for a reporter after such a disappointing result with the season on the line.
But the former MVP kept asking Turner what he thought the team could change to get back to winning.
“That’s fine. Do you have the answer to winning?” Westbrook said. “I’m only one person, champ. It’s a team game. So I don’t have an answer. You can give me your answer.”
Westbrook sarcastically smiled, shook Turner’s hand and walked away. Turner joined the Lakers postgame show on Spectrum SportsNet after the exchange but didn’t have any additional answers on how to fix the Lakers.
Lakers Have Reinforcements Coming But it Might be Too Late
The Lakers did get some good news on Tuesday, with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reporting that Anthony Davis is targeting a return on either Friday against the Pelicans or Sunday against the Nuggets.
Davis suffered a foot sprain on February 16 against the Utah Jazz, coming down on the foot of Rudy Gobert after going up for a pass. Davis experienced some major swelling in the foot after being carried to the locker room and while the original X-rays did not show a fracture, an MRI revealed the foot sprain. He went through his first full practice on Monday.
“Positive sign, he went through full practice,” Vogel said on March 28. “Did all of our drill work and did some live scrimmaging. We’re at a point now where it’s really about how he responds to that and the level of soreness he has coming out of his first live work.”
After the loss to the Mavericks, the Lakers are 31-44 and in 11th place in the Western Conference. They could still charge up the standings and wrangle a play-in spot, just one game behind the ninth-place Pelicans.
“We just didn’t execute well enough and play with enough toughness, IQ, intelligence, focus, and fight in that half,” Vogel said. “Not acceptable. Just a poor performance across the board. Coaches, players, everybody.”
Vogel made sure to note that the Lakers have to just keep trucking to keep their hopes alive.
“The standings are the results,” Vogel said. “We have to keep our focus on the process and the work. The things that are going to lead to the next win. That’s the only place our focus will be.”
LeBron James on Mend From Ankle Injury
Even if Davis comes back, there’s a chance James could continue to be on the sideline after suffering what he dubbed a “nasty” ankle injury against the Pelicans over the weekend.
“I was going in for an offensive rebound and me and Jaxson basically stepped at the same time,” said James, who dealt with a serious ankle injury last season. “He got his foot on the ground before I could get my foot back on the hardwood. I stepped on his foot and rolled my ankle.”
James currently leads the league with 30.1 points per game and the 37-year-old ageless wonder has been a lone bright spot for the Lakers during a disappointing season. He’s hoping to get back on the court with minimal time missed.
“I hope not,” James said of potentially missing significant time. “S–t. I hope not, because I hate missing games. That’s not in my nature.”