D'Angelo Russell's career night in Minnesota got off to a slow start but turned into a statement game by the end of the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Lakers put the ball in Russell's hands with Kobe Bryant conceding his time to their point guard of the future, and what he did with it was impressive.
Sure, the Lakers lost in overtime, but it was therapeutic watching Russell's take over down the stretch of regulation. He asserted himself, controlling the offense with screen after screen after screen. To no one's surprise, it was incredibly effective. There's still major work to be had from D'Angelo's pick-and-roll game -- particularly mixing it up between pulling up for jumpers vs. attacking the rim -- but he looked more comfortable than he has all season. This was a chance he didn't let slip out of his hands like the many passes his frontcourt mates bobble.
Whether Russell is allowed this kind of opportunity to assert himself more often going forward is certainly a question, but it was a joy watching him slather butter on the bread of his game. Here's a closer look at D'Angelo's pick-and-roll work against the Timberwolves:
D'Angelo Russell takes over with his pick-and-roll game
This is why the LA Lakers need to put the ball in D'Angelo Russell's hands. That boy can COOK!Read more about his breakout performance --> http://bit.ly/1lBsQ9jPosted by Silver Screen and Roll on Friday, December 11, 2015
Conclusion? Run screens over, and over, and over for this kid. He clearly needs these kinds of reps to learn more about how he can manipulate and attack defenses once he takes a pick, and his ability to pull up from the elbow out makes him an effective threat already.
Simpler: let that boy cook.