D’Angelo Russell finished Sunday’s game against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on a high note hitting the game-winning three at the buzzer. Although Russell propelled his team to a fourth straight win, it was a hard day for him and his family due to the passing of his grandmother.
Following the win over the Timberwolves, Russell headed back to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to be with his family. The second-year point guard is not expected to play tomorrow with head coach Luke Walton telling his floor general to take all the time he needs, via the Lakers Twitter account:
D'Angelo Russell returned home to Louisville to be with his family. He is not expected back for tomorrow's game, per Luke Walton.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2017
With Russell more than likely missing Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Walton will have to explore his options to replace him in the starting lineup. The first-year head coach mentioned four potential candidates to start against the Pelicans in Russell’s place, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
If Russell out tomorrow, Luke said Ennis, Nwaba, Brewer or even Metta would start at PG. I think he was joking about Metta….I think.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 10, 2017
All four of the players mentioned have started at some point this season. Ennis, who is coming off career-best 20-point performance, might be the logical choice if Walton intends to shift Jordan Clarkson over to shooting guard. Starting Metta World Peace, although possibly nothing more than a joke from Walton, could also be something the coaching staff seriously considering with it potentially being the final game he plays at the Staples Center.