D’Angelo Russell: ‘Risk-Taking’ Led To Turnovers In Summer League
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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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.


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Stop taking risks then, its that simple.

  1. i rather he take those risks than play conservative, kinda like kobe when he shot those air balls early in his career and went on to hit many clutch shots later

    1. Watching Russell grow is going to be very fun to watch.

      I smile when I think of his first 15 assist night. And his first triple double.

      1. He will be a triple double machine. He rebound extremely well for a guard. And his passing ability is amazing, no question. I just wanna see his handles better

        1. actually he has a real good handle. its been what hes relied on to get by his opponents since he aint quick or athlethic.

      2. His first real NBA game will be the hardest game of the year for him and the team, but then there is no place to go but UP for 2015/16 ..

        1. If he continues to play like shit, the hearts of lakerfans will actually sink down. I think you will be disappointed.

        2. Well the only ones you have to worry about is the KLAPPERS and Their 3/1 lead and play like S..T and CHOKE the ONE & DONES, we were ready for it WERE YOU, I am sure you were .

    2. Dude, I’ve thinking the same thing. But, in this way, I didn’t see Magic when he enter to the league, unfortunately, but I do see kobe, air balling shot, after shot, against Utah and think that that kid have something special, now, I have the opportunity to see D’angelo and think the same thing. This kid have something special, Hope it turns out like kobe did. PS: please, someone give me something interesting to watch until next octouber, I am really boreeed. go to play NB2k

  2. That’s his type of game, he’s brought it up in the past too (interviews). He’ll have to learn the hard way given he’s used to his ways. But now he’ll play against the cream of the crop talent so BEST for Russell to utilize his brain as opposed to his ego (+stubborness) to learn to play the position at the pro level first before being a risk taker down the road.

    1. Worst of him to become is lin. Forcing his methods of plays while unminding the other type of game with his teammates. Js coz im preferred to laylow until proven effective in the current playing field, coz if otherwise failed the fall wud defnitely be unpleasant. Earn the teams respect first, shown by effectiveness rather than ego.

      1. More so learn the position first as opposed to taking gambles as a newbie. That will come with time given he’s a risk taker (part of his game) but best to learn the ropes first.

        1. Agreed. Hop he will take more importance w/ chemistry 1st, coz then the whole team will js regard him the credit that he aspires. We will have a good idea of him this season on how he will mesh w/ kobe that will be his pg outlook for the succeeding decade to come.

  • It was Summer League. I think it’s a good sign that our #2 pick went to Vegas and tried to make things exciting.

    Russell’s basketball “gift” is that he’s going to make easy plays for other guys. It’s NOT shooting or attacking. It’s a good thing that he’s a gunslinger, and willing to take risks. I’m excited to think that “Showtime” is back in L.A. again!

    He’s going to be in the game for a long time, we’ve seen step 1 of a 1000 step journey.

    1. wow. for someone who was so against drafting russell, you’ve really changed your tune. but i agree. russell is going to light up staples center for years to come!!!

      1. I accept he was picked by mitch. He’s a laker now and I accept him 100%. Regardless of whether or not he was in my mock draft.

        And in retrospect, I realize that it was a much better selection than Okafor.

        I hate the Randle pick at first too…

          1. And what do you have to say after 0 for 43 years with nothing, to show you were even playing-if that’s what you want to call playing.

    2. I’m still cautious about what Russell has to offer. That “gift” still doesn’t equate to something better than Ricky Rubio’s court vision. While Russell is a better shooter by default since Rubio is a bricker supreme, Rubio is much better at going to the hoops since he has bursts of speed. One thing that Rubio has that Russell can’t touch is defense. And so far Rubio is a middle tier PG.

      To me making things “exciting” is just an intangible. What comes first is winning. Can Russell put the team on his back and get the team a win. Jordan Clarskon tried but with a great defender on him, JC makes mistakes. When another team puts their best defender on DR, what will he do? And teams didn’t do it in Summer league, they focused on Clarkson. That’s the question I’d like answered. let’s see how DR does against the likes of Beverly.

    3. “Trying to make things exciting” is a good sign? LOL. YOu are talking out of your butt. Lakers starters went 1-4 in summer league against other teams 5th stringers. Way to jump on the #Russell bandwagon.

  • Russell knows what he did and the cause of the TO and he knows how to improve on it the KID is going to be OK its just like any other rookie its the speed, and the knowledge of the guys he is playing with. With training camp and the 8 preseason games he will do much better. Nerves had a lot to do with it and trying to impress his fans he will be just fine.

  • He hasn’t even played 1 professional game, and a beat writer from the BOSTON GLOBE, is already taking him to task about a high number of turnovers.

    Welcome to Hollywood,
    Welcome to a GLOBAL fanbase.
    Welcome to the spotlight.

    It’s Showtime.

  • Kind of sad that he got outplayed by all those undrafted guys and most of them won’t have jobs.

    1. Ya but they were not the # 2 pick in the draft, could you believe how many eyes were on him and the pressure ,of not wanting to fail, it worked in reverse, and that is more then understandable. He will be OK now.

      1. Do you thing, that this could be a blessing in disguise for him? maybe he understand when the game means nothing that it’s not the same thing like college and realize that he need to settle down and first make the routine passes and then the fancy ones? and be prepared for the real competition? Cause I really Do.

      2. you think it’s okay for him to falter because there’s so much pressure. If anything, inability to deliver when there’s so many eyes on him is a negative. In terms of pressure, What Porzingis had to go thru at #4 was far far worse than what Russell had to go thru. NY fans hated that pick, they had all kinds of doubt and the fan base in NY is way more fanatical/critical/not understanding than in LA. After summer league some of those concerns have been eased.

        One of the things that screwed up Russell is his verbiage. Got people to believe that he is the next big thing. He talked a big game but he didn’t produce. If he wants to be NBA ready, then be summer league ready first. He wasn’t.

        1. WE don’t worry about what NY is doing why are you worried about the LAKERS, the LAKERS fans will worry about him, go back to NY and have a bad year.

          1. nice trash talking but you might need a compass since you have no clue. 1 lakers nation hundreds of different takes, homer.

  • Folks need to enhance there calm. Magic was turnover prone early and all throughout his career really. Magic averaged over 4 turnovers a game for his career I believe? Look at Kobe or James Harden. Curry still averages 3 turnovers a game. Nash was close to 4 turnovers a game during his MVP seasons. John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and all of your all time assist greats were high turnover risk takers. You can’t suppress that trait in them. You just hope the overall talent/Magic out weighs the mistakes.

          1. Russell is the unknown till proven but I don’t see it as exceptions like that. Cream rises to the top and has a short memory when it comes to mistakes. They always risk it. It’s what makes them different/special.

          2. But what worried me about Russell was that he didn’t have that it factor. He was awkward with the ball, shot poorly and didn’t really hustle. I have high hopes for him, we need him to be great, but I saw nothing that makes me feel confident.

          3. All I heard was talk of that it factor and his uncanny vision. Many said some of those turnovers were due to him seeing the player but the player not being ready forthe pass. Magic had that same problem till chemistry was established. I’m not trying to pump the kid as i have my doubts but i did see some pizzazz in his game.

          4. same here. He does have court vision but the rest of his game was non existent outside of the last game. Everyone in the NBA can have a good shooting game, it’s the consistency that makes them a good-great player. Unfortunately we can see that the kid was more focused on his pizzazz than in winning a game.

          5. Imagine that, the rookie was more interested in showcasing his talent for the fans than a meaningless win. Go figure… sounds like Summer League to me.

          6. Why are you worried, that’s like your worried SANTA is not coming this year.

          7. Because he is our future. Phili owns our 2016 pick and Orlando owns our pick after that. If Russell and Randle do not work out our rebuild goes from 5 years to at least 8 years.

  • for all u people who want russel to be good lol, well that aint gonna happen if with Clarkson next to him. u got a glimpse of it in SL. wake up . clarkson would hurt russels so called development lol

    1. Just like Eddie Jones & Nick Van Exel should have stumped each others growth as rookie and sophomore playing together as starters. Jones was a combo guard at Temple as a SG next to Aaron Mckie.

      Get ya knowledge up son.

          1. No your not your still a runny nosed kid thinking your with the ADULTS . 😀

          1. And your still talking baby talk now go to bed I am all done with you. 😀

  • Starters
    D’Angelo Russel
    Kobe Bryant
    Johnathan Holmes
    Brandon Bass
    Roy Hibbert

    Jordan Clarkson
    Lou Williams
    Nick Young
    Julius Randle
    Javale McGee

  • The Lakers don’t have much depth at small forward. Kobe Bryant will move over from his true position of shooting guard to small forward. Brown is the only true small forward on the Lakers’ roster.

    Holmes has the shot to grab a guaranteed spot on a prominent franchise, but he must prove he belongs. Holmes will certainly play with a chip on his shoulder, as many teams made a mistake in passing up on him.

    1. I think the Lakers will have to settle with experimentation for SF. We have Brown and combo-forwards in Holmes, Randle and Nance Jr. There is no good player available via free agency left and we don’t have asset to trade in order to get an elite SF. I really don’t mind waiting for next season to get someone to play there. Who knows, if we make it to the playoff and looks good, Durant might be interested or we could get someone else.

    2. The way MITCH is bringing other players for training camp he is wanting more then just a spot in the playoffs he wants morethen one and done.

  • It’s always about balance. You can take risk when you have chemistry with your teammates but first, you need to build the stability with simple play.

  • i felt like russell was just starting to come into his own in the last two SL games (the last one especially). once he gets used to his teammates, he’ll be fine… great, in fact. the core of russell, clarkson and randle is going to be exciting to see develop.

    1. i was plesently surprised in summer league. i expected his strugels but the flashes were nice.

      he needs to work on his core to add range to his shot

      1. i agree. i really do think he’s going to be one of the best PGs in the game and definitely the best PG we have had in LA since magic.

        1. i really hope so you know i wanted okafor and i still believe okafor was the best player in this draft but if russ lives up to his po he will be a 20-5-10-2-1 kind of player on 45-50% 40-45% and 80ish% shooting

          1. i’m so glad we didn’t take okafor. we need DEFENSE in the middle more than anything, and he would not have given us that. besides, i could have seen him melting under the intense LA spotlight.

  • Gonna keep posting this till it gets thru.

    From watching Russell’s game he’ll need to improve on his ball handling skills to separate/make space for himself to shoot up jumpers and given his quick release that be one of his early strengths as a rookie. Being don’t try to do too much at first. Learn the game since it’s played @ a faster pace and roll with your strengths while limiting his swag b/c he’s known for being flashy at times.

    Best to absorb as much knowledge from 24 (that’s the least I’d expect out of 24, to help mold the future). Russell has above avg. court vision for his age. Kobe would help him learn the game quicker and slow it down by passing along what he’s managed to attain throughout his career with relation to learning the in’s and out’s. While being somewhat selective of his shots at first.

    No pressure off the bat, but if he manages to improve and pickup the game sooner as opposed to later he’ll show why he was drafted #2 as opposed to down the road.

    1. It’s sad truth that an NBA ready PG needs to improve his handles, but that’s what the next level requires. J. Lin has good handles but when Beverly checks him, Lin had no chance to blow by a staunch defender. Think of what a slower Russell needs to do.

      I agree that Russell needs to do alot work and studying – especially at being elusive. His footspeed is inferior. Curry’s isn’t elite either but he can still blow by people and makes up the rest with his craftiness.

      More importantly, can Russell change his mindset to be an elite guard. And you mentioned Swagger. Here’s what he said

      “When asked what trait he believes to be the most important for success in the NBA, Russell quickly answered: “Swagger.””

      That’s just asinine for anybody to say that coming in the league. Most important???? Dude, Substance is far more important in winning. Swaggy P and Swaggy R ain’t gonna do sheet for that playoff spot. From what we’ve seen in Summer league, DR is more than comfortable losing as long as he has swagger. Nick young at PG, no thank you.

      1. Russell will be alright, he needs time to develop just like everyone else. The issue is that he lacks a quick first step, it’s something that he’ll need to work on but just like Steph Curry he’ll have to rely on his ball handles more to give him an edge and allow him to get past his opponents.

        Best ball handles in the league = Curry (1) and Irving. Although Kyrie utilizes his handles to drive in mostly it also allows him the opportunity to separate himself from his defender to get his shot off. Curry on the other hand uses his handles as a mirage being he’s a straight up spot jump shooter. No matter where Curry’s on the floor he can get his shot off with ease.

        Russell’s more like Curry (tho different) being he has a quick release and will need to utilize it more as opposed to his speed to help him get an advantage while keeping his opponent on edge. Just like Steph who’s not as quick with his first step he’ll have to master this skill while his game evolves. Curry blows by people with the advantage of his handles being he has his opponents on edge since they’re expecting him to shoot foremost.

        It’s not mostly swagger (Russ) IMO, talking about a 19yr old. When I look at Russell, I see an empty cup (basketball knowledge). He’ll need to fill his cup which will come with time. Swagger = confidence for Russell. I don’t doubt his potential but am aware that he’ll require a few years. However, how he impacts next season will depend on Scott, being the coach is dealing with a young inexperienced roster mostly. What will the coach incorporate to help his young players adapt quicker is the question?

        https:// www . youtube . com/watch?v=qQ_MUhxI-cM

  • Is there a way we can steal markieff Morris ? A nice lineup would be:
    Russell/ Clarkson
    Kobe / Lou
    Morris / Young
    Randle / Bass
    Hibbert / McGee

    1. its good when u use logic like this comment. thats a great 10 man rotation. the thing is i doubt the lakers will go after morris. mitch is one lazy ass bum.

          1. “its good when u use logic like this comment. thats a great 10 man rotation. the thing is i doubt the lakers will go after morris. mitch is one lazy ass bum”

            find an article where i wrote that. jeepers man all i did was replies to some guy dont get ur panties in a bunch. i know u like me but give it a rest kid. ur like a stalker/.

  • I’m not too worried about the TO’s it was expected he was overpassing
    His shooting could’ve been better but I won’t read too much into it he was making rookie mistakes like the inbound behind the half court line deal

  • I appreciate the risk taker Russell is for the fact that he has a high basketball IQ as well.
    Like I said before..once Kobe retires, we’ll be loosing that fearless shot taker in crunch time
    I believe Clarkson and Russell both have that killer instinct in them!

    1. Don’t sleep on Randle either, he said he wants to be the next Kobe, not Shaq. Let’s hope all 3 fighting for that next Kobe spot

  • There’s no way JC is coming off the bench he’s our best guard. I won’t call Russell a bust but he’s not ready to start. The Lakers do plan on starting him though…hopefully he can contribute and help win games. I doubt the Lakers get a veteran PG, seems like they’d rather spend more money on a C instead of a PG. So we’re going to need him to adjust quickly.

    1. If Kobe doesn’t go to the 3, somebody has to sit. Yup. JC won’t sit since he already knows Byron’s system. I can totally see DR being a bench foddler for the first half of the season or until somebody gets hurt. And there’s always a possibility for somebody like Bobby Brown (former pick of Scott) to outplay him in camp, to get that backup PG position. Defense matters to Byron and Brown could be a ball hawk like Price.

      Interesting to see 3 browns on 1 team. Jabari, anthony and bobby.

      1. Byron and Kobe have already said he’ll play the 3. Like you said… IF another PG wins the battle in camp, then he’ll come off the bench. Hopefully he’ll be starting cause he had a great training camp.

  • this is not college its the nba them no look passes will get picked off majority of the time..im glad you listening to me russell

  • Lesson #1: Kiss Kobe’s butt. When he retires by mid-season, say how much you learned from him watching film together.

  • Just a reminder….the kid is only a little over a year removed from H.S. He went to college last year and excelled. He has blossomed at every level thus far…..Now he is in the pros. He is young and has a lot of growth and potential in front of him. I think the odds are that he will be just fine and has the potential to be one of the top players in the game….

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