The Los Angeles Lakers are in the process of trying to rise from the bottom of the Western Conference. Though gifted with some of the most promising basketball stars, the NBA team continues to fail to snag wins in the hardwood court. With a veteran reaching the end of his days in the NBA and a bunch of newcomers in the roster, the Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling this season. However, it looks like one of the rookies might finally be showing promise at this point.
D'Angelo Russell, the second overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, had been initially thought to be yet another disappointing rookie to enter the NBA. Unlike his batchmates, Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns and New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis, Russell had not shown any spectacular display of talent this season. Moreover, he had been benched after starting 22 games for the Los Angeles Lakers. Just when head coach Byron Scott appeared to have given up on the point guard, though, the 19-year-old broke out of his shell and wowed the league.
In the match against the Sacramento Kings last Friday, Russell managed to pitch in 27 points. His agility and focus in the hardwood court eventually paved the way for the NBA community to finally recognize his talent. Although the DeMarcus Cousins team won 115-118, the game was described as a comeback for the Los Angeles Lakers. That is, the measly three-point lead of the Rajon Rondo squad signified an improved roster for the Roy Hibbert team.
"Ya'll ain't seen nothing yet," said Russell following the match against the Rudy Gay squad, according to the Orange County Register. The Los Angeles Lakers star added, "That's all I'm going to say. They got lucky. The world hasn't seen anything yet. You got to see. I know what I can do. Ya'll just have to see."
Russell's comments were backed by Scott. The Los Angeles Lakers head coach is known as a tough mentor to rookies. Scott, who had played with Bryant in the past, has repeatedly refused to mollycoddle the newcomers regardless of their talent. To his mind, the head coach aims to push the likes of Russell, Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr to reach their potential on their own. With the performance of Russell in the Sacramento Kings match, it looks like Scott's tactics are working.
"Sounds like a lot of confidence he has in himself," commented Scott of Russell. He added, "Now, he has to do the work. He has to back it up. Last night, he was great, he was fantastic. We've been saying this for a month that the kid is getting better and better. He's starting to be in the right places on the defensive end and the offensive end. His growth has been great."