NBA Odds: Russell Westbrook Making Strong Push For This Award

Westbrook has turned the tables in LA


November 25, 2022

After ugly performances to kick off his 2022-23 season — and tenure overall — with the Los Angeles Lakers, guard Russell Westbrook has begun to flip the script and the oddsmakers have taken notice.

In just the second game of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers, Westbrook recorded one of the all-time worst shooting performances, going 0-for-11 from the field while finishing the contest with two points in 27 minutes. Surprisingly enough, that was the fourth time in his career that Westbrook connected on zero shot attempts from the field.

This, like last season, led to a repeat of media scrutiny for Westbrook’s subpar play on an underperforming Lakers team who — as of Friday — sit second-to-last in the Western Conference standings, just 2 1/2 games ahead of the bottom-of-the-barrel Houston Rockets for the worst record in the NBA.

However, after playing 15 games for the Lakers, including 12 off the bench, Westbrook has turned his play up a major notch. Against the West-leading Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Westbrook scored 21 points with five assists and a steal while also limiting his turnover count to one — a clear indication that the nine-time All-Star is on board with his new role in Los Angeles.

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With that being said, here’s an updated look at Westbrook’s skyrocketed Sixth Man of the Year odds before the former NBA MVP and the Lakers took the floor against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, courtesy of FanDuel:

Russell Westbrook: +150
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors +500
Christian Wood, Dallas Mavericks +700
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers +700
Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics +1400
Nah’Shon Hyland, Denver Nuggets +2200
Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers +2500

Westbrook played five games during the month of October and averaged just 13.4 points while shooting 34.4% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc — all career lows for the 34-year-old.

Since then, Westbrook’s overall efficiency as the Lakers strongest second-unit piece, has taken a notable turn for the better. As a result, the numbers have spoken for themselves as Westbrook’s field goal percentage has improved to 40.6% while the 3-pointers have fallen at a 30.3% rate. Westbrook has now averaged 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists for the Lakers for the season.

With 66 games left, the Lakers — like Westbrook — need to turn things around drastically in order to keep their playoff chances alive.

Thumbnail photo via Kiyoshi Mio/USA TODAY Sports Images

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