After going down with multiple injuries against the Indiana Pacers back on Jan. 20, D’Angelo Russell’s season was seemingly in jeopardy. Along with being marred by injuries in his sophomore campaign, Russell has been inconsistent with his play but has turned things around since returning to the floor recently.
Following the loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday, Russell said he believes he’s headed in the right direction as he continues to fill up the stat sheet across the board on a nightly basis, via Bill Oram of OC Register:
“I feel like I’ve been playing at a high level,” Russell said. “I feel like I’m going in the right direction as far as making plays for my teammates and trying to find my role for the team.”
In his first game back from injury on Jan. 31 against the Denver Nuggets, Russell did something has had yet to do in his NBA career. The point guard dished out a career-high 10 assists with his previous best being eight.
Russell helped the Lakers snap a three-game losing streak and came only three rebounds shy of a triple-double. The 20-year-old seemed very comfortable throughout the game while getting his teammates involved. Russell was able to get a good balance of distributing and scoring which has been a challenge for him this season.
The former second overall pick continued his impressive play the following game against John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Although Russell committed seven turnovers, the second-year guard eclipsed his career-high in assists once again with 11 to go along with 17 points and seven rebounds.
On Friday, Russell finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the loss to the Celtics. A solid showing even though he unable to best All-Star Isaiah Thomas and get the win on the road.
At this point, there’s no question Russell is improving. He’s showing progress from game to game and his teammates as well as his head coach, Luke Walton, have taken notice. Whether he can continue to improve and play consistently well for the rest of the season remains to be seen.