The Los Angeles Lakers have a mess on their hands; how will they handle it?

Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Los Angeles Lakers are not sitting in the enviest of situations. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently at .500, at 23-23, and lost a couple of days ago to the undermanned Indiana Pacers. With the Lakers being outplayed in embarrassing fashion, head coach Frank Vogel elected to pull former MVP, Russell Westbrook, out of the lineup a few minutes into the final quarter.

The question that revolves around that decision is why the $126 million player is sitting on the sideline as the team continued to fight its way back into the game; on the surface, it simply didn’t make sense.

According to ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin, Vogel stated post-game that:

"“[He was] playing the guys that I thought were going to win the game,” he said."

When asked, LeBron James refused to comment on the situation, and Westbrook left after the game without addressing the media.

So far this season, Westbrook is averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 3.1 turnovers while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from 3. These are actually solid statistics, just a very poor efficiency.

And the context regarding this situation in Los Angeles is that Westbrook is not a great fit next to LeBron; who would’ve guessed?

Either way, there’s nothing easy for the Lakers about this situation moving forward. Not only is Frank Vogel’s job on the line (he’s reportedly playing for it nearly every time the Lakers are on the floor) and the NBA Trade Deadline is quickly approaching.

At any given moment, there could be huge changes that take place for the Lakers. Nothing has been easy for Los Angeles this season and it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.

Next. NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers going hard after Jerami Grant?. dark

I’m not sure if benching Russ was the answer a couple of games ago or if it will be the answer again in the future; on Friday night, Russ played his usual minutes (35) as the Lakers managed to get back on track with an 11-point win over the Orlando Magic.