D’Angelo Russell will consider EXIT from Lakers for ‘starting off bench’ in playoffs, fears Darvin Ham’s front office

Lakers Concerned About D'Angelo Russell's Role as Western Conference Finals Intensify


D’Angelo Russell will consider EXIT from Lakers for ‘starting off bench’ in playoffs, fears Darvin Ham’s front office

Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves facing difficulty as they enter the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. The team is reportedly concerned about the potential outcome of moving guard D’Angelo Russell to the bench. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reveals that the Lakers fear Russell may view this adjustment as a demotion after starting for the entire postseason.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Game 1 against the Nuggets, Russell struggled to find his rhythm, shooting just 4-for-11 from the field. As a result, his playing time was limited to nine minutes in the second half, with a disappointing plus-minus of -23 in 17 first-half minutes. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham made the decision to replace Russell with forward Rui Hachimura down the stretch, a move that proved beneficial as the Lakers closed the gap on Denver’s solid lead.

The key to Hachimura’s inclusion in the lineup was his ability to defend Nikola Jokic, allowing Anthony Davis to roam and provide help defense at the rim during the fourth quarter. This defensive adjustment worked well for the Lakers, as they held the Nuggets to just 26 points in the final period, their lowest-scoring quarter of the game.

While the Lakers acknowledge Russell’s significant contributions throughout the postseason, it appears that the team’s best defensive lineup does not include him on the court. The Lakers are faced with a challenging decision moving forward in the series.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related: “I was held back there” – Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell is thriving in AGGRESSIVE energy, compared to his restricted role with the Wolves

D’Angelo Russell’s Offensive Struggles Raise Concerns

Q 1683473399
D’Angelo Russell (image via Justin Ford/ Getty Images)

In the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets, guard D’Angelo Russell struggled to make an impact on the offensive end. Scoring just eight points and distributing three assists in 26 minutes of play, Russell failed to find his shooting touch, going 0-for-3 from beyond the arc.

The Lakers’ coaching staff faces the difficult task of balancing Russell’s offensive abilities with the team’s overall performance. While Russell has demonstrated his scoring ability in previous postseason games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors, his dry showing in Game 1 raises concerns about his effectiveness against a tough Nuggets defense.

Russell’s commitment to improving his game was visible as he was seen taking extra shots after the team’s defeat in Game 1. However, with the Lakers’ championship aspirations on the line, Coach Ham must carefully consider Russell’s role going forward. Balancing offensive energy with defensive strength will be crucial in finding the right combination to overcome the Nuggets’.

ADVERTISEMENT

In case you missed it: