Things have not been going particularly well for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Barring a miracle, Los Angeles’ path to the postseason involves going through the play-in tournament, and while there’s no one reason why they’ve struggled this year above everything else, the team’s big offseason swing to acquire Russell Westbrook has not paid the dividends they expected.
It’s not entirely on Westbrook, nor has he been perfect by any stretch, but he’s turned into an easy scapegoat for the team’s issues this year, both for the fans and, on occasion, opposing players. What hasn’t helped is that Westbrook’s style of play has long led to really flashy lowlights, something that reared its head on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Westbrook pushed the ball up the floor and saw a lane to attack the rim. He saw that Avery Bradley slid into the opposite corner and decided to fire a pass into the corner. The issue was that the ball went over Bradley’s head, over Toronto’s bench, and into the hands of someone sitting in the stands.
The good news for Westbrook and the Lakers is that he otherwise played pretty well as the team took a 59-55 lead into the locker room, with Westbrook going for 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Hopefully the fan got to keep that ball as a souvenir.