Russell Westbrook has come off the bench in three consecutive outings for Los Angeles, and the Lakers are on a two-game winning streak. He’s been the primary creator on offense off the bench, looking for others as well as himself.

His energy and enthusiasm for the game seem to be revived, and the Lakers are playing inspired basketball. Lakers Coach Darvin Ham is intent on continuing with this formula for the foreseeable future. 

“Trust me, Russ had a hell of a night, man. In the last three games, he’s been phenomenal,” Ham said following the game. “One of my goals, selfishly, is to get him in the sixth man of the year conversation. And why not start now?”  

Darvin Ham said one of his goals is to get Russell Westbrook in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year

— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) November 3, 2022

In Wednesday’s win against the New Orleans Pelicans, Westbrook had 13 points, nine dimes, and eight boards on 60 percent shooting in only 25 minutes. He led another second-quarter run at the end of the quarter to give the Lakers a cushion heading into the half. He was nearly perfect, aside from his six turnovers. 

Russ directing traffic & delivering dimes

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 3, 2022

Westbrook is the all-time triple-double leader, an NBA MVP, an NBA 75 member, and one of the greatest players of all time. Westbrook putting his ego to the side and prioritizing the name in the front of his jersey rather than the back is indicative of the values Ham looks to instill in his team. 

“You have to know that the team comes first,” Ham said per the Athletic. “It sounds a little old school and cliche, but the name on the front of the jersey has to matter the most. It’s just a long season.” 

Westbrook has been receptive of the realignment and recently told the media that his move to the bench has been “beneficial for everybody.”

“My job is to find ways to continue to make the team better, whatever that is that night. Whether it’s assisting, rebounding, scoring, defending,” Westbrook told Spectrum Sportsnet. “I’m a person that prides myself on doing everything each and every night and I want to be able to have that trickle down effect on the guys that I’m on the floor with.”  

The Lakers have their first winning streak of the season and will get their first chance to continue their winning ways tomorrow against the Utah Jazz. 

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