With the Los Angeles Lakers starting off the season at 1-6, the optimism that surrounded the team at the outset of the season has begun to die down.
One main sticking point for fans so far this season has been the lack of fourth quarter minutes for second overall pick, D’Angelo Russell.
With the Lakers being blown out in Miami, many expected Russell to see the floor down the stretch, but head coach Byron Scott never considered bringing the rookie back in. Despite this, Russell’s confidence remains extremely high according to Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles:
"Through the roof, in space somewhere" – D'Angelo Russell's response to how his confidence is after the game.
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) November 11, 2015
This is great to hear from the rookie as it is likely extremely frustrating to not be on the court when the game is on the line. The fact that he is able to maintain his confidence despite this is a good sign that he can turn things around.
Scott has been challenging Russell to step up his game, especially on the defensive end. Russell has responded positively to that and it should be only a matter of time before he finds himself closing games. With Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson outplaying him at times in close games, it can be tough to get Russell on the floor in crunch time, but Scott will have to find ways to get Russell on the floor for the sake of his development.
Confidence is a very fragile thing, especially for young players and Russell having mentors like Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace in his ear is surely helping things. It is early in his career, but fans everywhere should look at this statement as a positive for Russell’s future.