Westbrook Benched For OT After Epic Struggles; Calls For John Wall Resurface

After what some are calling perhaps his worst game of the year, Russell Westbrook was once again benched by Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel--this time for the entire overtime period of their game with the New York Knicks. And it turned out to be the move that helped the Lakers to a big comeback victory. Vogel had a simple explanation for the move:

"Russ was having a tough night on both sides of the ball," said the coach. "And Bron was really going. So I knew the ball was going to be in Bron’s hands." 

Westbrook had gone 1-for-10 in the game, missed a shot off the side of the backboard, had 4 turnovers, and for the 2nd time in the last month, Vogel lost all trust in the struggling guard in crunch time — this time in an overtime period. Talen Horton-Tucker started in Westbrook's place for the OT, and played solid defense, a big part in helping the Lakers pull out the victory. 

The boos raining down on Russ were "louder than they have been all season," wrote Dan Woike in the LA Times.

The broadcast crew of Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson discussed the Westbrook benching, once they noticed THT out there instead of him in the overtime. "These decisions about to play or not to play a struggling star player, are absolutely brutal," said Van Gundy. "Because you have to WIN these games if you're gonna sit him."

Mission accomplished for Vogel and the Lakers. 

LeBron James notched a triple-double in his return to the lineup after missing 5 games. But that question is being asked once again: Where do the Lakers go from here? Looking at social media, they pounce on that potential trade for John Wall, if it's still available.

As for Westbrook's reaction to the benching, he kept it short and sweet. "We won and that's all that matters."