Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell didn’t make much of an impression during the five games played by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Summer League. Russell’s performance was heavily criticized due to the large amount of turnovers committed by the Ohio State product as well as the team failing to win more than one game in Las Vegas.
Although Russell’s turnovers were concerning, it was to be expected considering his style of play and the short time he had to build some chemistry with his new teammates. Russell spoke about his turnovers during Summer League play and what he and the team can do to limit them moving forward, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
“It’s just a matter of settling down,” Russell said. “A lot of those turnovers are from risk-taking and it’s successful sometimes, but at this level it’s being able to settle down and be patient. It’s about slowing down as a team, being patient.”
Heading into his first season with the Lakers, Russell will be under a lot of pressure as the team’s starting point guard. Russell will have to learn Byron Scott’s system while also adjusting to the NBA level and coexisting with superstar Kobe Bryant.
This is no easy task for any rookie trying to live up to expectations of a second overall pick under the bright lights of Los Angeles. Russell does appear to be up to the challenge and driven to improve his game, but only time will tell if he can be a star in the NBA.
Dealing with a high-pressure situation as potentially the next face of the Lakers franchise will definitely test his resolve during his rookie year. Russell will attempt to show a glimpse of what could be a bright future in Los Angeles and if he’s able to do that the team should be in good hands for years to come.