Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has come under criticism by some for how he has handled the rookies, in particular, D’Angelo Russell.
Russell’s play has picked up recently, however, as he has shown signs of why the Lakers took him instead of a big man. Against the Houston Rockets, Russell struggled mightily, making only one field goal.
Despite the tough game, Scott defended Russell saying that it’s his first bad game and that he is still young according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Byron Scott on D'Angelo Russell: "First bad game in 5 or 6 games. I hope everyone in this room understands that he's 19 & he's human."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 18, 2015
In 26 minutes, Russell made only one basket, which came late in the fourth quarter after the game was already decided. He did tie a career-high with seven assists, but also had four turnovers.
Scott is correct in that Russell has played very well recently. Even counting this bad night, Russell is averaging 16 points and more than five assists in his last five games including a 24 points, six rebound, six assist performance against the San Antonio Spurs.
Russell is still very young and one of the signs of that is inconsistency. As Russell grows, one of the things that will be expected is for him to do what he has been doing on a regular basis. For now, there are going to be ups and downs as this season goes on, but Russell is showing improvements and that is what the Lakers are looking for.