Nevertheless, Westbrook's slow start to life with the Lakers was expected. Apart from Westbrook, the Lakers have nine new players who joined their roster this offseason. So it was always likely that the players would take some time to get used to each other and build on-court chemistry.
Critics were quick to point out Russell Westbrook's struggles, especially the number of turnovers he has accrued so far. The point guard recorded 23 turnovers in only four preseason games.
It was something critics warned the LA Lakers about when they made the blockbuster trade to acquire the player. He has committed 3984 turnovers since his NBA debut, the most by any player in the league, averaging 4.1 per game across 943 appearances.
Russell Westbrook has also led the NBA in turnovers in four different seasons. Here's a look at all four campaigns:
#4 2008-09 NBA season - 274 turnovers
Russell Westbrook donned a leading role for the OKC Thunder in his debut season with the team. He was their starting point guard and floor general. Westbrook, who was 20 at the time, averaged 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, playing all 82 matches that season.
It was a stellar record for a rookie. However, he also committed 3.3 turnovers per game, committing a league-leading 274 turnovers that season.
#3 2010-11 NBA season - 316 turnovers
Russell Westbrook's production as a scorer improved during his third season in the NBA in 2010-11. He averaged 21.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and eight assists per game across 82 appearances. His usage rate also increased from around 25% to 32%.
That saw him record 316 turnovers that season (3.9 per game), though. Nevertheless, he led the OKC Thunder to a playoff berth, and helped them reach the Conference Finals.
#2 2017-18 NBA season - 381 turnovers
Russell Westbrook's worst season in terms of turnovers was the 2017-18 campaign. He committed 381 of them at an average of 4.8 per contest across 80 appearances.
Westbrook had another solid year otherwise, scoring 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. In the process, he became the first player to average a triple-double in multiple seasons.
#1 2020-21 NBA season - 312 turnovers
Russell Westbrook made a slow start to his 2020-21 campaign. Despite that, he ended up averaging a triple-double during the season, the fourth time he did so in five years. Westbrook scored 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds (career-high) and 11.7 assists (another career-high).
He didn't have a great year in terms of turnovers, though. Westbrook registered at least 300 turnovers for the sixth time in an NBA campaign. He tallied 312 (4.8 per game) of them across 65 NBA appearances.
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