Coming into the Los Angeles Lakers season opener, there was a question as to whether rookie D’Angelo Russell would start.
Head coach Byron Scott ultimately decided to start the second overall pick, but made him more of a shooting guard while allowing Jordan Clarkson to be the primary ball handler.
That will change when the Lakers take the court on Friday as Kobe Bryant told the media that Russell will move back to point guard via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Kobe said D'Angelo will move back to the point
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 29, 2015
This was definitely the move to make as Russell was not comfortable off the ball. He was often just standing in the corner while Clarkson and Kobe ran the offense. As someone who has been lauded for his passing and court vision, taking the ball out of his hands made it very difficult for him to understand his role and make an impact on the game.
Clarkson did a solid job in the opener with 14 points, but only had three assists. The team leader in assists was actually center Roy Hibbert with four. Russell will surely be looking to change that in the next outing.
Many rookies including Karl-Anthony Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jahlil Okafor had excellent debut games, while Russell had more of a quiet season opener. Getting the ball back in his hands will give him more of a chance to show the world what he can do, and should benefit himself and the Lakers as a whole in the long run.