D’Angelo Russell Believes Lakers Were Locked Into Game Plan In Game 1 Win Over Warriors
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers tallied a massive road win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Their 117-112 victory gives them a 1-0 series lead and shifts home-court advantage to the Lakers, who are attempting to become the second No. 7 seed in NBA history to make it to the conference finals.

D’Angelo Russell — after his best performance as a Laker in Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies — had a strong showing in the first game of this series. He finished with 19 points and a team-high six assists on 9-for-19 from the field.

Russell spoke about how the Lakers have found success in road Game 1s thus far this postseason and what has allowed them to get out to early leads in series.

“Locking into the game plan. Obviously getting off to a good start matters in the Playoffs,” Russell said. “Even in the regular season when you get off to a good start, you give yourself a chance to hold it down throughout the game.

“Honestly we just locked into the game plan and everybody was committed to it, everybody from the bench to the starting unit, there was no letup. We were locked in for 48 minutes and it allowed us to get the win.”

The Lakers guard talked specifically about the Warriors home-court advantage as well. The Warriors had the third-best home record in the NBA this season, but Russell appeared unfazed by the noise of the brand new Chase Center.

“I mean, it’s not really that loud. For our group, it’s all about the game plan. We know we got to be up. That’s things that we know.

“As far as yelling and screaming, losing your voice trying to do it, it’s kind of irrelevant. We know what we got to do. Nobody needs to be told it, honestly.”

The Lakers have now won both of their games played at Chase Center since the trade deadline, winning once on Feb. 11 and once on Tuesday night. In an ideal world, they could move to 3-0 in San Francisco and steal a 2-0 series lead heading back to L.A. on. Thursday.

A way to do that involves weathering the storm of the Warriors’ frequent offensive outbursts. Russell focused on the team’s ability to get wins in the third quarter.

“I mean, I don’t know, it’s an opportunity to be ready. You know, they’re a good third quarter team. We all knew that. For us to get out to a good third quarter start, everybody was kind of coming out ready to be aggressive. The game just allowed me to be the one to kind of take advantage of it at the time.

“They’re a good third quarter team. We know that. We just wanted to handle that, be locked in as a group.”

When the Lakers defeated the Grizzlies in Game 1, L.A. came out with a significantly lower sense of urgency in Game 2, as if to say that they already got what they came for. Hopefully, a similar trend doesn’t emerge in the Warriors series, as momentum could do a lot more for Golden State than it did for the Lakers.

Russell discusses familiarity with Warriors

A not-often-discussed facet of this series is the 33 games Russell played with the Warriors during the 2019-20 season. From that, he learned a little bit about their success in the last decade.

“They’re a good team, defensive unit. They do a good job of selling out through their rotations, activating their scrambles. They might run a guy off, the next guy is there in the rotation. They’ve been doing it for a while.

“I don’t know. You just got to trust the pass against those guys. They make you go through your second and third option throughout the game. You trust the pass, it could be a good night for anybody. If you go against it, it’s kind of tough.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle To Come Off Bench Next 5-10 Games

Head coach Byron Scott has made a drastic change to the starting…

Lakers News: Max Christie Highlights Defensive Improvement In First Two Summer League Games

After the first two NBA Summer League games at the California Classic in San Fransisco, the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off…

Frank Vogel ‘Has An Idea’ Of What Lakers Playoff Rotation Will Be

The start of the NBA playoffs is just around the corner, although the Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to recapture…

Video: Kobe Bryant Endorses Home Walk 2011

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant recently appeared in a PSA for the United…