The lone negative to come out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors was the ankle injury suffered by point guard D’Angelo Russell. An absolute freak accident, Russell was walking backward to take the ball out from the baseline and stepped on the foot of Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo, spraining his right ankle and not returning to the game.
It made no difference as the Lakers were still able to run away from the Warriors, but it was unclear just how serious the injury was. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said that X-rays were negative on Russell’s ankle and that he was day-to-day, but now it looks as if he will not be on the court when the Lakers kick off their three-game road trip.
Ham spoke the day after the contest, saying that he doubts Russell will suit on Sunday when the Lakers head to Dallas to take on the Mavericks, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
Darvin Ham says he doubts D’Angelo Russell plays Sunday in Dallas. He’s day-to-day moving forward.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 24, 2023
That next day is always crucial when dealing with a sprained ankle and for Ham to already say it is doubtful Russell suits up would likely mean the swelling has not subsided at all, or perhaps even gotten worse. It is a shame as every game matters for the Lakers in this stretch and Russell is a big part of what this team is looking to accomplish moving forward.
Russell gives Ham and the Lakers an excellent third option who is capable of creating shots for himself and others and thrives in the pick-and-roll, which helps lessen the burden on LeBron James. But he is also an excellent spot-up shooter as well, helping to space the floor so LeBron and Anthony Davis can operate in the paint.
Even when things finally seem to be going well, the injury bug continues to creep back in for the Lakers. Thankfully, the team is now more equipped to handle the issue with Dennis Schroder or Austin Reaves likely to insert the starting lineup in Russell’s place and someone like Lonnie Walker IV able to fill in some rotation minutes as well.
Steve Kerr believes D’Angelo Russell is a great fit on Lakers
Russell has been on a handful of teams now in recent years with one of his stops being with the Warriors. And Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes Russell is a great fit on this Lakers team next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“Great fit because D-Lo can really shoot and pass and those guys give him a lot of support both defensively and then also in terms of letting him get off the ball some,” Kerr said before Thursday night’s game. “LeBron will have the ball in his hands a lot so D-Lo can be a spot-up shooter or play pick-and-roll. It’s already shown that it’s a good fit for him. He’s played really well for them.”
While Russell may be out for the next game or two, when he does return to the court, hopefully he will be able to show why this fit is as great as most believe it is.
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!