They finally did it, Lakers have won their first game of the season, and it came in spectacular fashion. The team that struggled through their first 5 games finally clicked on all cylinders. Everyone chipped in with Anthony Davis dropping 23 and 15 with a bad back, Lebron scoring 26 points shooting 40% from three, and Westbrook sniffing a triple double with 18, 8, and 8.
When Darvin Ham got the job as Lakers head coach one of his goals was to help reestablish Westbrook’s respect level in the league after it was diminished last season. Due to the special bond they forged with each other he really felt the pain that Westbrook was going through with all the criticism he receives constantly being blamed for Lakers’ woes. During his postgame interview Darvin Ham was almost crying while talking about Russell Westbrook.
As his eyes got watery he explained the conversations he had with Westbrook about putting the team first, and having complete trust in the decisions he makes in terms of the role he plays. The trust paid off, because he has had the two best games of this season coming off the bench. Ham talked about the unique impact he has on he team by leading and lifting morale of the second unit, then staying in the game when the first unit comes back out. He pointed out that Westbrook was in the game during crunch time, so the media is putting too much stock in the difference between being a starter and his new bench role.
Westbrook was feeling so good he brought out the shimmy on Jamal Murray.
When a coach is almost brought to tears by seeing their players succeed it’s safe to say they truly care about them both on and off the court. Now Lakers need to turn all these emotions pouring out into a win streak. It would be epic if they won 5 straight games after losing 5 in a row. The road to being a .500 team begins now.