D’Angelo Russell offers curious comments when asked about his role with Lakers

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The arrival of D’Angelo Russell in February’s Russell Westbrook trade has helped the Los Angeles Lakers go from a mediocre squad to one that is a big threat in the playoffs.

But he played poorly in Game 2 of the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, and after the game, he said he’s not a point guard but simply a basketball player.

It may be a fair thing for him to say, as he splits ball-handling duties with LeBron James, Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder, and he is a pretty effective player when playing off the ball.

However, he is listed as L.A.’s starting point guard, and he does tend to lead the team in assists quite often.

After shooting well in Game 1 on Sunday, he was cold on Wednesday, missing all but two of his 11 shots and finishing with just five points.

But he wasn’t the only culprit in the Lakers’ 103-93 loss in Game 2. Anthony Davis played a very poor game, going just 4-of-14 from the field as Memphis swarmed him on a regular basis and didn’t let him get many clean looks.

As a team, the Lakers shot just 41.2 percent from the field and had major problems hitting from beyond the 3-point line. Only Rui Hachimura, who was 2-of-4 from that distance and scored 20 points, showed good marksmanship from the outside.

Russell, meanwhile, was just 1-of-5 from downtown.

In 17 regular season games with the Lakers this year, he shot 41.4 percent from downtown while averaging 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game. He will be a free agent this summer, and he needs to prove that he will be a major difference-maker for them moving forward rather than simply a complementary player.

In all, the Lakers do hold home-court advantage after snatching it from Memphis in Game 1. The next two games of the series will take place in Los Angeles, which will present them with an immense opportunity to take firm control of the series, especially if Ja Morant, who missed Game 2 with a hand injury, is still unable to play.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.