The Lakers‘ record fell to 27-34 on Tuesday, as the team entered the fourth quarter with a lead over Dallas but couldn’t hang on and lost by a score of 109-104. Los Angeles, the No. 9 seed in the West, is now just two games ahead of No. 11 Portland for a play-in spot, but Russell Westbrook – who acknowledged that he has to play better – still believes better things are ahead for the club.
“Super confident that we’re going to be all right,” Westbrook said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’ve got confidence in this group, like I always have. And we can play the best teams. I’m not worried about nobody we have to play. We’ve beaten the best teams; we’ve lost to some of the worst teams. So, our confidence and my confidence in this group is extremely high because I know what we’re capable of when we put our mind to it and do exactly what we need to do on a night-in, night-out basis.”
As McMenamin writes, LeBron James missed some time about a month ago due to swelling in his left knee and said before the All-Star break that he’s still not 100%. However, James has no plans to shut his season down at any point and is committed to waiting until the offseason to rest his knee, sources tell ESPN.
“We still have games to play,” James said after Tuesday’s loss. “Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, then I got a chance. So that’s my confidence.”
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- Head coach Frank Vogel is enthusiastic about what newly-signed point guard D.J. Augustin can bring to the team, as Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group relays. “I know his game really well,” Vogel said before Tuesday’s game. “He gets in late tonight – we’ll be able to sit down and talk more in depth about where he fits on our team. But I like what he brings to the table, not just with the off-ball ability, to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor and give our guys more space.”
- Vogel also discussed new two-way player Wenyen Gabriel, who was signed on Tuesday along with Augustin. According to the Lakers’ head coach, Gabriel will join the NBA team immediately rather than being assigned to the G League. “The successful stints this year have been with Bron, Russ, (Anthony Davis), and the younger, energetic guys,” Vogel said, per Goon. “So, we’ll have to see what Wenyen brings to the table, but it is possible that he gets into the rotation and plays some.”
- While replacing DeAndre Jordan and Sekou Doumbouya with Augustin and Gabriel adds more talent to the Lakers’ roster, the team had a greater need on the wing than at point guard, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines in his analysis of Tuesday’s roster moves.
- Explaining why the Lakers felt comfortable trading away Rajon Rondo earlier in the season if they still needed to sign a veteran point guard later, Vogel said that Rondo was intended to be a third-string backup behind Westbrook and wasn’t a good fit alongside him, whereas Augustin should be able to play with or without Westbrook. “Their skill sets don’t fit,” Vogel said of Rondo and Westbrook (via Goon). “They don’t match on the floor. So (Rondo) was not playing, or when he was playing, he wasn’t a good formula for us.”
- There’s still no timeline for injured point guard Kendrick Nunn to make his Lakers debut, Vogel told reporters on Tuesday. “We just don’t know about Kendrick,” he said, according to Goon. “We’re still hopeful that he comes around and is able to ramp up and do it without pain and the MRI comes back where we want to see it. It hasn’t happened yet. Until we see him back on the floor, we need help at that position and that skill set.” Buha believes the signing of Augustin suggests we likely won’t see Nunn this season.
22 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: LeBron, Augustin, Gabriel, Nunn”
All good in the hood – according to Westbrook.
Lakers need to bench Westbrook…and try to move him in the off season.
So give up an expensive roster spot, what, to punish the guy?
His contract is so bad they can not move him. they need to hang onto the draft picks because the future lottery picks are very valuable.
They can move him in the off season. It will be the last year of the deal. Someone will bite to get the salary.
What does benching him now do? Clear up minutes for some other 50 year old player?
They will have more options to move him in the offseason but they would still either need to attach assets or take back other bad contracts that aren’t expiring.
Sure but if the bad contract is a better fit and lebron approves. The lakers will do it. The fact is Westbrook play has been bench worthy
It’s amazing to me how a team can build a roster a certain way, and never once use that roster that way. Got rid of Gasol for DeAndre Jordan, which made no sense, as I said at the time. Brought in Rondo, which made no sense, with all of their other guards. Totally ignored wing shooters available to bring those guys in, and now those guys are gone. Took forever to finally start using Austin Reaves. Ariza started the season hurt, but now they’ve refused to use him correctly. Wayne Ellington, a much needed shooter, doesnt get used or used right either…lineups where lebron is the only somewhat competent shooter on the floor, and they question why their spacing is trash? It’s one thing to have limited options on the roster, but then to not use the only guys you do have makes no sense. Put 2 shooters around LeBron, Westbrook, and Davis where they still play poorly, and then I’ll start to question the merits of someone like Westbrook b/c until then, I cant blame him for a trash roster around him putting him in a position to look bad
They did play Ellington earlier in the year, he wasn’t doing very well at all..
Ya, but not in lineups that made sense
3 shooters with Davis and lebron. Westbrook can run the 2nd team and drive and kick which has always been his thing.
Lakers better sign Saint Augustine cuz it is tiime for prayer (and reflection).
Nunn will never play a game for the lakers. He’s 100% getting traded this off season
I was done with the Los Angeles LeBrons after that Pelicans game.
Russ needs to get out of town but probably won’t until after next season then he’ll retire
Lebron back to cavs and AD to ?
Bright future for pelinkas lakers…yah right what a major disappointment
Get real, Lakers are finished
Yes, Lakers will keep future draft picks
Yes, Lakers will keep Westbrook
Yes, Lakers will pay luxury tax
No, you don’t trade away future for 9th seed
No, you don’t trade future for luxury tax
They already gave up the future for the luxury tax.
They let CARUSO walk over $10M per year in taxes.
Now they’re paying the SAME tax rate (but on the minimum wage) for Augustine.
They’re idiots. They only good moves Rob has ever made was acquiring the two superstars who demanded to come here.
The players he’s added based on his own judgement are worse than random picks would have been.
He PICKED DeAndre and Kent and Kendrick and so on.
Stanley Johnson, a player no other team could use is playing significant minutes now as is reeves another player ANY team could have had in the 2nd round.
They need a real GM. Too bad the Buss’ are jealous of Jerry West’s reputation. Imagine what he would have done.
Refused to pay the luxury tax on Caruso.
Now they are paying the same tax for every minimum wage guy they pick up instead
They won’t waive and sign 8 guys so the total expense won’t be the same as if they had kept Caruso, but if your excuse was paying the tax how awful is it that they are now doing so for reject players at the bottom of the barrel instead of a legit contributor?
DeAndre Jordan, Rondo, Bazemore, Dwight Howard, Carmelo, Ariza, Ellington, Bradley will retire in the offseason. And this could be the last of Westbrook as well. Thats your 2021-2022 Lakers!
LeFraud is so violent. Couldn’t he just say “I’m playing until they take my sneakers away.”
And I’m over his commercial with the kid.
Lol if he said “I wont stop playing until they take my sneakers away” he would sound like a literal moron. Let’s let LeBron speak for himself, thanks though.
And sorry you dont like commercials. Good news though there is a support group for people like that and literally everyone in the world is a member.
4 points in the final 7 in a half minutes of the 4th? ridiculous.