Lakers News: Anthony Davis Praises ‘Phenomenal’ Season From D’Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Davis, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell has been the story of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of the 2023-24 season. L.A. is still led by their superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but it’s Russell that has surprised by putting together the best stretch of his NBA career.

Since Jan. 13. — 29 games for Russell — the Lakers guard has posted 22.1 points and 6.8 assists per game on 47.3/45.3/85.2 shooting splits.

It’s in large part due to Russell’s play that the Lakers were able to keep their season afloat when it looked like things were coming apart at the seams. While the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference is hardly where L.A. wants to be, it’s hard to imagine where they’d be had Russell not played the way he has. His play kept him with the Lakers at the trade deadline and may have given him leverage this offseason.

Everyone on the Lakers has been impressed to see Russell playing at this level. But Davis is particularly happy for the veteran guard after tying the franchise’s single-season 3-point record against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and cementing this season in Lakers history.

“Phenomenal. Obviously, he can score at will,” Davis said. “His shooting ability has been great for us all season. He gets hot any minute. I told him he could have broke it if he didn’t have the bad three he shot I think to start the fourth. He just threw it up there. And he said ‘I know.’

“But he’s able to get going and fill up the stat sheet with his scoring. It’s a big thing for him, big thing for us as a team. Obviously, there’s been a lot going on around DLo and just to be able to do that and us embrace him and he sees that and feels the love, it’s good for him. He’ll for sure break it on Friday.”

Part of what has allowed Russell to find success this season has been the unequivocal support of his teammates. The Lakers have shown Russell so much love, both through his successes and when he was struggling and on the trade block. That type of backing can boost a player’s confidence.

Now, Russell can finish out the season knowing he’s done all he can to prove what he can do when at his best. And perhaps he can help the Lakers form another late-season run in the meantime.

D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Davis noticing locked in LeBron James

Russell spoke about how James has begun taking over games in the home stretch of the season and the way he can still dominate after so many years in the league.

“I mean, yeah,” Russell said. “His play is obviously showing that. Knowing that there’s what 13 or 14 games left? I think everybody has that in the back of their minds knowing that we’re coming to the end of the season, regular season, and whatnot. Trying to get in playoff form mentally and physically. Physically is always there, mentally I feel like he’s always there as well. I mean, he’s still dominates the game at that age, so I still feel like he’s there, too. So yeah, I guess.”

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