The Los Angeles Lakers backcourt duo of Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell combined for 46 points (7-of-13 from three-point range) in their upset over the Golden State Warriors Sunday afternoon, outscoring Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, both individually and collectively. When Russell was inserted back into the starting lineup eight games ago, head coach Byron Scott said he would be evaluating Russell and Clarkson as a tandem as the season winds down.
At Monday’s practice, Scott said the biggest areas of growth he’s seen with Clarkson and Russell lie in their confidence and continuity. Russell is averaging 19.9 points per game since being reinserted into the starting lineup, while Clarkson has averaged 17.8 points per game in that span (and 15.7 on the year).
“We definitely want to be one of the best backcourts in the league one day,” Clarkson said on Monday. “Just want to play a style where nobody really can stay in front of us. We get up and play fast paced, knock down threes and get our teammates involved, just a fun style to play.”
It would sound like Clarkson envisions a style similar to that of Curry and Thompson, but Russell clarifies that they’re looking to create their own.
“Not really,” Russell said of whether he envisions their style to resemble that of the Warriors. “They’ve found a way to have the success that they’ve had with their team. I feel like you have to create your own style of play with your personnel. Those guys are really, really good shooters. Me and JC (Jordan Clarson), I don’t feel like we put that stamp on our game. They (Curry and Thompson) do a lot more, but shootings their thing, and I feel like we try to do a little bit of everything.”
So what type of style is Russell envisioning?
“I don’t know yet, that’s something we’ve got to figure out.”
Russell’s had no problem finding the bottom of the net throughout the past couple of weeks, especially from deep. He’s connected on 25 of his 51 attempts (49.0 percent) from three-point range in the past eight games and has five 20+ and one 30+ point scoring games in that span. Where’s the confidence coming from?
“Playing. No matter what shots you shoot, if you’re making it, what can anybody say? That’s where I was in college, and that’s where I’m getting to at this point, and I’m trying to be better on both ends to make up for any questionable shot I shoot.”
Marcelo Huertas praised the progress Russell has made since the start of he season, but also has some advice for the young rookie:
“Be humble. I think that’s the most important thing for him to be successful.”
The Orlando Magic come into town on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set from 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center.