The Los Angeles Lakers had a solid performance in their 103-84 preseason-opening victory over the Sacramento Kings. A number of players impressed in the win, but one of the more disappointing performances came from D’Angelo Russell.
Expectations for Russell are rising as he looked excellent during Summer League and head coach Luke Walton has heaped praise on him throughout the offseason. Unfortunately, Russell struggled with his jumper and continued his issues with turnovers.
Russell isn’t in denial about his performance on Tuesday night, calling his preseason opener ‘average’ according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
D’Angelo Russell described his first preseason game as “average. "I didn’t have that pace. I didn’t have that pep in my step."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 6, 2016
Russell’s overall stat line definitely wasn’t what fans were hoping for. He finished with four points (on 2-8 shooting), to go along with two rebounds, three assists, three steals, and five turnovers. While it was a disappointment, it wasn’t all bad for Russell.
His assist number could have been higher had a couple of his teammates knocked down some open shots, and his three steals is encouraging as he looked more engaged and active on the defensive end. Nonetheless, turnovers have long been a problem for the second-year guard, and he will have to shore that up at some point.
The important thing for Russell is that he realizes where he messed up and what he has to improve on. This is a new Lakers team so it will take time for all of them to gel together. The team as a whole looks more active on both sides of the floor and the Lakers got the win which is the most important thing as there is only so much you can glean from one preseason game.