D’Angelo Russell has been loading since the start of his rookie year, and he’s been phenomenal so far during the preseason. Thursday night, he ran rampant against the Sacramento Kings and lit up his Western Conference foe for 31 points.
This is Russell’s second 30-plus point game this preseason, and it comes on the heels of a dreadful performance against the Portland Trail Blazers where the former Buckeye shot just 6/21 for 12 points; nine of those misses were from three. Against the Kings, DLoading looked stupendous with a 10/14 shooting clip that included 5/6 from three and 6/7 from the free throw line.
Russell was hitting from everywhere, even with his back to the basket, and Luke Walton did an excellent job having him move without the ball. A handful of times, Russell was receiving the pass that led to a wide-open three instead of delivering it.
Furthermore, he did a great job getting his teammates easy shots. He racked up 11 assists, his most so far through the preseason, and he made smart decisions all game long. Just two turnovers accompanied his dimes, justifying his improved decision-making and passing skills.
Russell was active on defense also and came up with two steals.
All of this production came during almost 33 minutes on the court, and if he continues this, the former second overall pick will be in line to be the Lakers next franchise point guard.
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