Second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to be the Lakers’ leader and go-to guy of the future.
Eleven games into the young season, Russell is second on the team in both scoring (16.8) and minutes (27.2) per game and leads the team in assists per game (4.7). (ESPN)
He has shown flashes of scoring hot-streaks multiple times this season which we know he is capable of.
However, Russell has also shown continuing signs of immaturity. In the Lakers’ road win over the Sacramento Kings on November 10, Russell was heard making an obscene comment to a Kings’ fan whose sign read, “D’ANGELO LEAKED HILARY’S EMAIL,” comparing the point guard’s 2016 video-leaking scandal involving Nick Young to Senator Hilary Clinton’s email situation. (Complex)
In addition to Russell’s immaturity, carelessness with the ball is an issue as well, as he leads the Lakers in turnovers with 3.1 per game. (ESPN) This is likely why his fourth quarter minutes have been down in the past few games as Coach Luke Walton surely wants players on the court who will take care of the ball.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they have depth at the guard position with Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson, both of whom come off the bench and are first and third, respectively, in scoring on the team.
If Russell wants to see his minutes increase, and, dare I say it, remain a Laker, ball protection and more importantly, maturation, will be crucial in his role moving forward.