Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell did not have the best game of his career when the team kicked off the preseason against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers won the game, but Russell scored just four points on 2-8 shooting to go with three assists against five turnovers.
Los Angeles is set up to maximize the production of the point guard they hope will be a franchise cornerstone this season, and while they ultimately defeated the glorified D-League team the Kings fielded in the second half, the Lakers will need more production from Russell if they want any hope of competing with teams when the games start to count.
It’s important to note that it’s just preseason, and all of the starters looked fairly stilted offensively as they adjust to Luke Walton’s system. Russell still realizes he wasn’t great, and stated the obvious by criticizing his debut performance after the Lakers’ Thursday afternoon practice.
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
The good news for Russell, and the Lakers, is that the whole point of playing a whopping eight meaningless preseason games is that it gives players some time to put some pep back in their step. It’s good that Russell is able to be self-critical, but one poor preseason game is nothing to worry about.
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