The slowest part of the NBA offseason is here now that the draft is over and Summer League has ended, but this is the most important time of the year for the young core of the Los Angeles Lakers to develop. D’Angelo Russell shined brightly in the Las Vegas Summer League and really proved that he has been tediously working to improve his game, and yes, he still has ice in his veins.
Russell has focused on improving his outside shot as well as his dominance in the post as a bigger guard. In an interview with Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Russell gave his reasons for why he wanted to be a post-dominant guard:
“In this league everybody’s different. You’ve got small guards that dominate the game. You’ve got athletic guards that dominate the game. You’ve got shooting guards that dominate the game. And the post is slowly disappearing with guards.”
Russell does recognize that there are still a few guards that operate well from the post, but he would like to be one of the few who can be successful in the land of the bigs:
It’s a few guards that really still post up I’d say, like Westbrook or Chris Paul a little bit […] I just wanna be one of those guys that can dominate the game at any time from the post.”
The second-year guard from Ohio State has been making heads turn this summer with his work ethic and poise on the court during Team USA camp. Now is the time for Russell to continue to hone in on these skills as the offseason slowly comes to an end.
With Kobe Bryant gone everyone’s role will change. After his play in Summer League it looks like Russell is ready to step up and being dominant in the post will certainly help him take that leap. If the Lakers plan on proving some doubters wrong, Russell’s improvement will be necessary and he’s doing everything to make sure that happens.