Lakers News: LeBron James Not Worried About D’Angelo Russell’s Recent Shooting Struggles
LeBron James, D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

As the regular season finale looms on Sunday, a storyline that is beginning to worry some is the recent shooting struggles of Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell. Following the win on April 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Russell has not shot above 30% from the field in the last three contests.

Everyone is aware of the 28-year-old’s playoff struggles last season, specifically during the Western Conference Finals, and perhaps this is a warning sign. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Lakers are going to be in the Play-In Tournament and they are going to need Russell to show up offensively the way he has for a majority of the season

However, LeBron James is not worried about his starting point guard’s shooting struggles. Despite shooting 2-for-9 from the field and only scoring four points in 35 minutes against their win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, James expressed confidence in his teammate and knows the Lakers’ success relies on Russell.

“When DLo plays well, we all play well,” James said. “When DLo is aggressive, we feel pretty good about things. He’ll find his shot, we’re not worried about that.”

Luckily, Russell’s poor performance on Friday did not result in a harmful loss for L.A. But when the 6’3” guard is in a rhythm offensively, he takes the team up another level and makes them hard to beat. Shooting requires confidence and it is easy for Russell to get down on himself, but hopefully getting the outspoken support of James will turn things around sooner rather than later.

Another factor is that the former Ohio State product is looming another important possible free agency. With an $18.6 million player option for next season, the early expectation is Russell will decline it and cash in on a payday. If the Lakers want to get where they want to go and for Russell to earn himself a pay raise, he needs to have a solid regular season finale and build off of it heading into the postseason.

D’Angelo Russell: Lakers having fun has translated into wins

While the Lakers suffered two crucial losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors, L.A. has been playing great basketball as of late. Currently with 46 wins and the chance to get 47, the purple and gold have surpassed last year’s win total.

A reason why this back half of the season is going well for the Lakers according to Russell is that the team is having fun and playing for one another. It is clear the the Lakers are playing inspired basketball, especially on the offensive end. This season has had its ups and downs, but it is good to see that players are still having fun regardless.

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