Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Felt Good Seeing Shots Go Down In Game 6 Victory Over Grizzlies
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of pressure was on the Los Angeles Lakers to handle their business in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. And in the biggest game of the year, it was D’Angelo Russell who stepped up offensively to lead the team to a dominant victory to close out the series.

Russell finished with a playoff career-high 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting including 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the Lakers’ 40-point win. It was the first time Russell shot better than 50% in a playoff game, and the most threes he has made in his playoff career as well.

For Russell, this is his third playoff appearance coming with three different teams, and this will go down as his first series victory. Following the biggest game of his career, Russell admitted that it felt good to see the ball go through the net.

“It just happens like that, honestly,” Russell said after the contest. “We’ve got a lot of great talent in the playoffs from the first round to the second round to the third round. To dominate the game the way you dominate the game throughout the regular season, it’s tough.

“So to be in a position to actually make the shots I’ve been taking, making the shots I’ve been working on my whole career, so to finally make some is definitely a good feeling. But the win was better, to be honest.”

Obviously the most important thing for the Lakers was to get the win and advance to the second round. Though Russell struggled shooting the ball prior to Game 6, he had done a good job distributing the ball with nearly a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover rate. Some pointed out that Russell seemed to be embracing more of a point guard role, but the Lakers guard insists he is just taking what the defense is giving him.

“I don’t think so,” Russell responded when asked whether he felt more like a point guard. “I think just taking advantage of what the game gives you. But if the game allows me to score, I score the ball, which is a scoring guard or shooting guard, right? If the game allows me to pass and I have 10 assists then I think that’s when I’m considered a point guard that game.

“But being able to dominate the game on however they’re guarding me forces me to be a basketball player. Sometimes they trap me, sometimes they don’t guard me as heavy, sometimes you see the best defender on me. That’s when you got to take what the game is giving you and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

That versatility Russell brings to impact the game in multiple different ways is why he is such a valuable piece for this Lakers team. With the second round upcoming, he will look to continue to build off that momentum and keep helping the Lakers’ playoff success.

Dennis Schroder says Lakers don’t care who they play in second round

Who the Lakers will take on in the second round is still unknown as the Sacramento Kings forced a Game 7 with the Golden State Warriors after a big road win on Friday night. As for who the Lakers would rather face in the next round, Dennis Schroder says they don’t care.

“It doesn’t matter, we just focus on us,” Schroder said. “Try to do the best as possible, try to play like tonight and we’ll be in great shape. For us, like I said, it doesn’t matter who wins. Sunday at 12:30 I think we’re probably gonna watch the game and then we’ll know and start prepping.”

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