D'Angelo Russell's play has been trending upward as the season goes on. The rookie has had his playing time limited to 24.8 minutes per game over the Los Angeles Lakers' last 15 contests, but over that time span he has averaged 18.7 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds on 45.9% shooting per-36 minutes, numbers that lend themselves to the idea that he could put up the types of eye-popping stats as some of his fellow rookies if given the minutes.
With that rising production has come more public displays of confidence from the rookie second overall pick. After one of his best games as a pro, scoring 27 points in a close game against the Sacramento Kings, Russell told reporters during his post-game availability "Y'all ain't seen nothing yet," and at the "Lakers All Access" event in Los Angeles, Russell and some of his teammates addressed the media and fans in question and answer session, which led to Russell's latest demonstration of self-confidence:
How's D'Angelo Russell's confidence despite having to guard Curry, Westbrook, etc? "I've still got it. I mean, they've got to guard me too."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 26, 2016
These types of intangibles, in addition to his college production, are part of what inspired the Lakers front office to believe in Russell as the the player with the highest superstar potential in the 2015 NBA Draft. While it will still probably be a little while before Curry, Westbrook, and the rest of their elite point guard ilk are sweating match-ups with Russell, his early production has given Lakers fans reason to hope that day is coming.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.