How Russell Westbrook Will Impact The Los Angeles Lakers Odds

  • The Los Angeles Lakers have their first preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets.
  • This will be the first game Russell Westbrook will take the court as a Laker.
  • Westbrook averaged 22.2 PTS, 11.5 REB, and 11.7 AST on the season.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers will have their first preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets which many are viewing as a potential NBA Finals matchup.

This is the first time fans will be seeing the new-look Lakers, as Russell Westbrook will be the official starting PG.

Westbrook being on the Lakers has LA with the second shortest odds at NBA sportsbooks to win the championship. His style of play should certainly affect the Lakers’ offense.

2022 NBA Championship Odds

  • Brooklyn Nets +250
  • Los Angeles Lakers +350
  • Milwaukee Bucks +850
  • Golden State Warriors +1000
  • Utah Jazz +1400
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1400

Lakers New Offense

Westbrook averaged 22.2 PTS, 11.5 REB, and 11.7 AST and put up his fourth career triple-double season on the Washington Wizards last year. Westbrook also aided the Wizards to their first playoff appearance since the 2017-2018 season.

What was mainly affected by the addition of Westbrook on the Wizards team was their pace of play. Washington immediately led the league in pace at 106.4 with Russ on the roster. In the previous season, the Wizards ranked seventh. The Lakers were ranked 17th in the league during the 2020-2021 NBA season with a pace of 100.8.

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Westbrook may not have the Lakers jumping to first place but betting fans can expect LA to increase their pace considerably with a dynamic guard like him.

With an increase in pace, there will be more offensive possessions for the Lakers. Washington led the league in possessions with 7,585 during the 2020-2021 season. The Lakers saw 7,184 possessions last year.

Potential Defensive Hit

What the Lakers may lose with Russ on the roster, however, is their strong defense. LA led the league in defensive rating at 106.8 and defensive efficiency at 104.8. This was the case even with the injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Westbrook is not known for his defense and is coming off of two consecutive seasons where he played on one of the 15 worse defensive teams in the league with the Houston Rockets at 15 during the 2019-2020 season and the Wizards at 20 last season.

It is possible that LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who take defense seriously, can rub off on Russ and keep the team near the top of the league in defense.

He will also be playing for a defensive-minded coach in Frank Vogel. While Scott Brooks of the Wizards and Mike D’Antoni of the Rockets were not known to focus on defense, Vogel puts defense first. When Russ played under Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a defensive-minded coach, OKC had the fourth-best defense in the league.

If the Lakers can get Westbrook integrated nicely, they could see themselves with a top offense and defense this upcoming season. Sports bettors should jump on these odds with online sportsbooks.

The Lakers host the Nets on Sunday, October 3 at 3:30 PM ET. Betting fans will be able to see the first glimpse of Westbrook as a Laker on NBA TV.