The Los Angeles Lakers had an embarrassing outing against the Atlanta Hawks as they lost by 29 points. With the team’s top three scorers all out due to injury, the Lakers hoped to get big offensive showings from rookie D’Angelo Russell and veteran Nick Young.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, both players were completely shut down as they combined for only 12 points on an abysmal 4-of-25 shooting from the field.
Russell had been playing extremely well before this showing and after the game, head coach Byron Scott was not discouraged in any way with his subpar outing according to Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation:
Byron Scott on D’Angelo’s poor performance: “sooner or later you expect him to be subpar.”
— Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner) March 5, 2016
The same can not be said for Young, however, as Scott was hoping for more of an offensive punch in his first start of the season:
“I was hoping that he was gonna play a bunch of minutes and that he would be able to do some things for us offensively, but it wasn’t the answer tonight”
All of the pieces were in place for the Lakers to struggle offensively. The Hawks are one of the league’s best defensive teams in the league ranking in the top-10 in both defensive rating and points against. When combined with the Lakers missing Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson, and Lou Williams, it should come as no surprise that the team was shut down.
This was one of the first games where Russell was the primary focus of the defense and it showed, but it should just be another learning experience for the rookie. While the performance ultimately was a disappointment, the Lakers don’t have much time to dwell on it as the defending champions are coming to town next.