Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis said he and LeBron James tried to encourage Russell Westbrook to be his usual self and go for his shots. Westbrook's struggling season continued on Saturday night as he scored just five points on a 1-of-10 shooting from the field.
Westbrook dished out six assists but also had four turnovers against the New York Knicks. Lakers fans booed Westbrook on several occasions during the game. "It can be frustrating," Davis said, according to ESPN.
"The fans, obviously, want to see him play better. But one thing you can't do is put too much pressure on yourself. You have to go out there and play freely. There were some shots tonight that he usually takes in rhythm that he kind of passed up or hesitated.
Me and LB were telling him, 'We don't care if you miss every one. Just play. Shoot your rhythm shots. Don't hesitate.' "
Westbrook ended up getting benched
After struggling in the fourth quarter, Westbrook was benched for overtime.
The Lakers won the game 122-115. "It happens," Westbrook said. "I missed some shots that I normally make. Like I said, I don't want to keep making it about me. When I play bad, you guys ask me a s--- ton of questions.
And then when I shoot the ball well, I don't hear too many of those questions. So I don't want to keep making it about me and what I'm doing. We won the game and that's the most important part." James returned to the lineup after a five-game absence and the Lakers won.
"It could be good," Westbrook said when asked what could happen if L.A.' s Big Three can keep playing together down the stretch. "Just based on a night-in, night-out basis, establishing rhythm, it could be good. So hopefully we can see what that looks like moving forward."