The Los Angeles Lakers have decided to bench rookie guard D'Angelo Russell for the second time this season, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. This comes after the 19-year-old started showing some progress after being placed back in the starting line up. Lakers head coach Byron Scott states that this is not a punishment for Russell. Since D'Angelo is so young, however, he might not view this as a test of confidence and humility. An old school head coach who believes that young players need to earn their minutes, Scott is hoping that the gamble pays off down the line.
Since the start of the season, Byron Scott has been irritated by D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, two of the guys that the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to lean on in the near future. The head coach was not pleased with the defensive efforts of his rookie guard and second year forward. Something drastic needed to happen, so Scott decided to take away their starting jobs. Russell and Randle were demoted to the bench while Lou Williams, a veteran guard that can put up points, and rookie forward Larry Nance, Jr. were promoted to starters.
In comparison, Julius Randle is taking the benching much harder. Members of the media have noticed that the former Kentucky Wildcats star has a tendency to include silent gaps during his responses. Randle is obviously bothered by it and does not appreciate the demotion being placed under the spotlight. Julius knows that he is not on the same level as Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center and fellow Wildcats alumni, Karl Anthony Towns, but he also knows that he should be outproducing Larry Nance, Jr., the 27th overall pick in the NBA Draft who was not expected to contribute much during his rookie season.
Do you think D'Angelo Russell can mentally handle the test that Byron Scott is putting him through this season?
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