Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Doesn’t Mind Sharing Ball When Not Scoring
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell is a vital piece for the Los Angeles Lakers offense as both a scorer and a playmaker. When he is engaged offensively, whether that be scoring or passing, it usually bodes well for L.A’s success.

The last time Russell made a trip to Utah, he scored 39 points on 15-for-26 shooting with six 3-pointers and eight assists. While it ultimately resulted in a loss, he kept the Lakers within striking distance as Anthony Davis struggled.

Returning to the Delta Center on Wednesday, it was an entirely different offensive approach for the 27-year-old. He dished out a career-high 17 assists with only two turnovers and Russell did not mind doing more playmaking this time around, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“I think the game is gonna present something and like you said, they weren’t doubling. Rui was aggressive, AR got us going early. I think you just find that, feed that and it allows the game to open up for everybody. Last time I played here, they allowed me to score. This game they did a good job and I just passed the ball. I don’t mind it.”

Russell’s playmaking is an underrated skill set for the Lakers, especially when LeBron James misses a game or two. Despite some uncertainty with his contract heading into the summer, he has been top-notch since some offensive struggles in December.

In his last 10 games, the former Ohio State Buckeye is averaging 20.2 points and 7.1 assists on 40.3% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. Each game is going to be different for Russell and he is going to have to adjust to how an opposing team is scheming against him. Whether that involves more scoring or playmaking, the Lakers need both of those skills to be a constant as a crucial finish to the regular season looms.

LeBron James praises D’Angelo Russell for ‘uncanny’ shooting range

When the Lakers Russell at last year’s trade deadline, he was the point guard that the team was looking for to pair alongside James and Anthony Davis as someone who is capable of being a spot-up shooter but also a willing ball-handler and initiator of offense when James is resting.

For the most part, he is living up to that, especially as of late with his scoring picking up in recent months. That included some hot shooting nights and 30-point performances, for which James praises Russell’s ‘uncanny’ shooting range as when is cooking offensively, the point guard takes and makes some tough shots.

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