Sacrifice has been a word that the Clippers have been talking about since acquiring James Harden from the Sixers. The player who has embraced this the most is without a doubt Russell Westbrook, entering off the bench under Coach Tyronn Lue’s guidance.
Westbrook’s willingness to accept his new role has been key for the Clippers and it seems like they're starting to connect the dots in a squad with names like James Harden, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The nine-time All-Star is still making sure his presence on the court is felt. Despite reduced minutes, Westbrook’s energy and intensity remain the same and is averaging over 12 points, six rebounds and five assists per game.
Russ drivin' to the rim for the And-1 pic.twitter.com/jOVfqjrCnX— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) November 26, 2023
“He’s starting to find it,” said George on Westbrook coming off the bench for the Clippers. “But it’s on us to help him. I think we can help him by giving him space on the floor. Putting shooters around him when he’s on the floor so he can operate. Because he’s so good at getting to the paint.
"Russ is a true professional. He's a player that you don't look at his scoring. You look at how he affects the game.”
that Brodie ➡️ PG-13 connection pic.twitter.com/rvh1HQEBrf— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) November 25, 2023
Playing off the ball when James Harden is on the floor is something that Westbrook still needs to work on according to coach Lue. However, he's shown that he can still make an impact just by bringing energy on the floor and as a catch-and-shoot threat when needed.
Westbrook’s role might evolve as the season progresses, but his willingness to adapt to a new situation shows why he's a true team player. The 35-year-old is proving to be able to impact, adapt and do anything in order to win the first championship of his career.