As the start of the new season continues to draw near, there is mounting concern regarding the Los Angeles Lakers‘ current guard rotation – especially their limited three-point shooting ability.
Neither Russell Westbrook nor Patrick Beverley is known for their ability to light things up from deep, and given the number of interior players within the Lakers rotation, the lack of shooting projects to be a problem. Speaking on a September 7 episode of ESPN’S NBA Today, Brian Windhorst shared his concerns with a potential pairing of Westbrook and Beverley, and why he believes it’s destined to fail.
“I don’t believe that the Lakers think this is going to work. I think they’re saying that, and trying to keep a stiff upper lip and make the best out of this because they know they don’t have any Russell Westbrook trade that makes sense for them right now. So, they’re gonna try to make it work.
But let’s be honest, we live in an era where you have to have shooting in the NBA. When the Lakers won their title a couple of years ago, it was with shooting. All of LeBron’s great teams in his career had shooting. You have Westbrook who is one of the worst three-point shooters in the NBA, and Patrick Beverley is coming off the worst three-point shooting year of his career…This duo doesn’t make any sense on a basketball level,” Windhorst said.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Lakers will be presented with an opportunity to improve their backcourt before the season gets underway, meaning we’re going to see exactly how well the Westbrook and Beverley duo works against NBA-level defenses.
Westbrook and Beverley Have Bad History
When the Lakers originally acquired Beverley via trade Lakers fans began to speculate on the future of their superstar guard, as there is a well-documented history between the duo – one that is shrouded in shade and contention.
In his August 25 article, The Atheltic’s Zach Harper detailed the history between Westbrook and Beverley and questioned whether the pairing would ever pay dividends for the Lakers due to their negative relationship.
“First and foremost, putting Beverley and Russell Westbrook on the same team is objectively hilarious. Westbrook and Beverley have a long history of hating each other. Do you know how much fire has to be behind that hatred for it to last years and years, no matter which team you’re on and which team the other guy is on, especially when you face each other only a handful of times each season? Assuming Westbrook is still with the team at the start of the season, we’re going to see some awkward interactions between these two on the court, and someone’s act isn’t going to vibe with the other,” Harper wrote.
Of course, if both Westbrook and Beverley are committed to making things work, there will likely be some difficult conversations ahead, but there is no reason why they can’t bury the hatchet.
Beverley Believes Lakers Guard Pairing Can Work Well
Despite their frosty relationship, and the lack of perimeter scoring their duo will provide, Beverley is under the belief that his partnership with Westbrook can be a positive aspect of the Lakers rotation.
On September 6, Beverley discussed his upcoming partnership with Westbrook during a media press conference and noted that once both of them had endured some difficult conversations, he would be excited to play alongside such a fearsome competitor.
“A player with that competitive spirit, that fire, that will, that dog, that nastiness, that grit, to have a running mate like that, I have never had that. So I am super excited to see where it goes. Obviously like any relationship or any marriage, things, we are going to have tough conversations. That is what comes with winning, but I am excited about those conversations, I am excited about the practices. I am just excited to be able to compete with someone like that,” Beverley told the media when discussing his potential partnership with Westbrook.
While the Lakers roster is devoid of shooting throughout each position, it will be incredibly interesting to see how Darvin Ham approaches his guard rotation, especially if his primary pairing is indeed a Westbrook and Beverley backcourt.