The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fourth straight game to open the season on Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets.
Rookie D’Angelo Russell was solid with seven points and six assists, but for the second time this season, Russell did not see the floor in the fourth quarter.
When asked what he believes he needs to do to finish games for the Lakers, Russell had no idea according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
Frustrated D'Angelo Russell was asked what he needs to do to get on the court in 4Q. "I have no idea. … Something I got to deal with."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 4, 2015
For his part, head coach Byron Scott said the decision simply came down to Lou Williams playing well via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
For those asking why D'Angelo wasn't in at the end of the game, Byron Scott said it came down to Lou Williams playing well.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 4, 2015
Scott is in a tough position with his backcourt rotation. Russell obviously needs to get his time on the court so he can develop and become more comfortable when the game is on the line. The team, however, is trying to win games as well and if Russell is being outplayed by Williams and Jordan Clarkson, it could be difficult to take out the hot hand strictly for Russell’s development.
Balancing the development of the young players with trying to win games is a very tricky task. Russell isn’t as good right now as Williams and Clarkson, but the fact that he doesn’t know what he needs to do is more disturbing. Scott will likely need to clarify exactly where Russell needs to improve in order for both to get on the same page.