Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell decided to blow up, and it helped his team snap their eight-game losing streak, according to Fox Sports. With Kobe Bryant sidelined, Russell decided to take 21 shots. The former Ohio State Buckeyes star hit 14 of those shots, which is much better than 50 percent. Those 39 points were good enough to beat the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 107 to 101.
Before the game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Kobe Bryant, who is walking away from the NBA after this season, would not be playing in the game because of a sore right shoulder. Rookie Anthony Brown, a second-round selection, was the one that chosen to replace Bryant as the starting small forward, but it was D’Angelo Russell who decided to replace Kobe as the star of the Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell chose a very good night to channel his inner Stephen Curry. Not a lot of NBA players can make eight three-point shots on a dozen attempts. That alone is good for 24 points, so anything else that you contribute is just a bonus. Russell only threw out three assists against the Brooklyn Nets, but that’s not a big deal because his role was playing off the ball as opposed to being the play maker that set up his teammates.
Aside from the 39-point explosion, which is the most a rookie in the NBA has scored this season, D’Angelo Russell has scored at least 22 points in the previous three games. While that may be a great thing for Los Angeles Lakers fans, it should become a headache for Byron Scott. He has long been wanting Russell to develop into a play maker that makes his teammates better, but it is looking more and more like D’Angelo would be best utilized like what the Philadelphia 76ers did with Allen Iverson.
When you’re sitting on a 12-49 record, which makes them second-worst in the NBA behind the lowly Philadelphia 76ers, there’s not a lot to make you smile. The play of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle is a good sign for the Los Angeles Lakers.
[Featured Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]