The Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 123-109, on opening night. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook both had triple-doubles, but again, the Lakers lost. This is probably going to be a common theme this season as everything everyone thought wouldn't work for the Lakers this season did not work in Game 1. Only 81 more to go.
It's funny because approximately two-thirds of Westbrook's teammates do not start games. That's like 10 guys who warm up and then sit on the bench at the start of the game. Many of them then get put into the game seconds and sometimes minutes after the opening tip. If any of those guys get injured they don't get to blame it on coming off the bench.
Westbrook and the Lakers supposedly talked about this. Here's what Darvin Ham said about Westbrook like four days ago. Via ESPN:
"He totally looked me in my eye and said, 'Yeah, Coach, whatever you need me to do.' You can't take that for granted, for a player of his stature to be willing to try something different, something that he's unaccustomed to. I mean, he started a bunch of games in this league and performed at the highest level in this league. Hell, even being a MVP."
"So for him to trust us and trust what we're trying to do and what we're trying to take some notes on -- to see if him being in that part of the rotation has any benefit to us as a whole -- again, my hat's off to him. I salute him, because a lot of guys would have had a lot of pushback, even if it's a preseason game. He totally was selfless in that moment."
That is hilarious. You can tell this was said before Westbrook learned how dangerous coming off the bench truly is in those five harrowing minutes he played in the final preseason game. It felt like we heard multiple times during the offseason that the Lakers and Westbrook had discussed this. Oh well!
Of course, it's unfair to blame this all on Westbrook. He is who he is and everyone knows that. A lot of the blame should also be placed on whoever put this team together because they have no shooting, which LeBron noted in his postgame comments.
In case you were curious, the current Lakers roster features just three players with a career three-point percentage of 35 percent or higher: Kendrick Nunn (.365), Juan Toscano-Anderson (.356) and Patrick Beverley (.377). League-wide, the three-point percentage was .352 last season. Last night the Lakers combined to make 10 of 40 threes, which is 25 percent. The Warriors, on an off-night by Stephen Curry, made 35.6 percent of their threes. This Lakers team is doomed.
Its going to be a long season. For all of us.