Scott’s Take on Russell Reveals His Own Inadequacies

D’Angelo Russell’s first game in the NBA was an absolute disaster, with the 19-year-old looking like he should be on a junior college team and not in a Lakers’ uniform hauling down millions of dollars. Russell’s debut performance produced a grand total of four points, on two-of-seven shooting, including zero-of-three from behind the arc. In 26 embarrassing minutes on the court, the second pick in the 2015 draft added three rebounds and two assists, but also committed three turnovers and three fouls. So, what is coach Byron Scott’s response to all this? Give Russell a bigger role stating tonight!

First of all, if Scott now feels, as he is saying, that Russell should have the ball a lot more, i.e., be THE point guard, and not Jordan Clarkson, then why say that after the first game, wherein the smallest of tweak could have turned a one-point loss into a win, and second what could Russell have possible have shown and what could Scott have possibly have seen, that would want to give the rookie more court time and more responsibility, as
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opposed to a more low-key, watch approach?

The answer to that last part is easy: The Lakers’ roster included NO point guard with ANY NBA experience. The only point guard on the team who had ever played in the NBA before this week’s season opener was Clarkson, who averaged 25 minutes per in 60 games during his 2014-2015 rookie season, and who has now been moved to shooting guard. The only other point guard on the the roster is foreign import Marcelo Huertas, who at 32, make his NBA debut along with Russell.

This all begs the question of why, with the team’s future based so heavily on their young guards, didn’t they keep or acquire some veteran point guard who could, if nothing else, assist Russell in the NBA point guard learning process, some one to watch, to talk to, to learn from, while getting his first ever NBA game experience?

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Don’t get me wrong, I like the part of the team that can be called a youth movement, and wish that included the ENTIRE team, not just three of five positions and a few backups. But you cannot just throw out all these young guys with little or no guidance adding to their total lack of experience. The Clippers brought in 38-year-old Pablo Prigioni as the third point guard, and for a salary of less than $1 million. Wouldn’t he have been a pretty good addition to the Lakers’ back
court, to play a little and help Russell with the process?

The Lakers play in a while in Sacrament, and they feature two established, veteran, and still young point guards in Rajon Rondo and former Clipper Darren Collison. I think Russell will be going to school tonight, and it won’t be pretty.

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