D’Angelo Russell Acknowledges Struggles and Emphasizes Improvement for Lakers’ Success

LeBron James’ absence on Thursday placed a heavier offensive burden on players like Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell to step up for the Los Angeles Lakers. While Reaves continued his impressive performance, Russell faced challenges, particularly in the first three quarters of their 118-111 defeat against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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D'Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell

In the initial periods, Russell struggled, managing only 2-of-11 shots. Despite finishing with 17 points and eight assists, the need for 19 shots highlighted his inefficiency. Acknowledging his subpar performance, Russell expressed the urgency to elevate his game for the team’s success, as shared on Spectrum SportsNet:

“I just got to be better, obviously. Just finding a way to be better. No excuse for that. It was good to see some go in but obviously we want the win to be the result. Just got to play better, it happens.”

D'Angelo Russell

D’Angelo Russell made a positive impact on defense

Despite his offensive struggles, Russell made a positive impact on defense, securing two steals and three blocks. While he commits to defensive efforts, he recognizes that his primary role is to contribute offensively:

“I have an idea. When I’m not making shots and things like that, it’s not relevant to our success. We need guys that are going to make shots. We need guys that are going to get stops. And if I’m not making shots, they’re going to depend on me just to get a stop. That’s where I work, that’s where I try to be better, but it’s not what I do. Doing that is an extra, and it’s where my focus is, but knowing what I do, that’s something that I know as well.”

D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell

December has been a challenging month for Russell, averaging only 9.8 points on 37.5% shooting and 27.5% from 3-point range in eight regular-season games. Despite his evident effort, the Lakers require him to enhance his performance, a responsibility he acknowledges.

D’Angelo Russell addressed previous comments

In a podcast discussion, Russell addressed previous comments from Magic Johnson, who, after Russell’s initial stint with the Lakers, emphasized the need for a leader on the team. Russell countered the notion, pointing out the positive impact he had on teammates post-Lakers. Now back with the team, Russell is focused on contributing positively on and off the court, aiming to propel the Lakers toward success.

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