It has been nothing short of a disastrous season for the Los Angeles Lakers, who at 12-49 have the worst record in the Western Conference and second worst overall just ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The lone bright spot for the team has been the development of D’Angelo Russell, who has shown with more playing time that he has a bright future in the league. On Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, the point guard went off for a career-high 39 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field, including eight-of-12 from the arc to go with six rebounds, three assists and a steal to carry the Lakers to a 107-101 win. He became the first Lakers rookie since Elgin Baylor to score at least 39 points in a game.
Through this ridiculous performance, Russell was able to show that there is another level to his game – the sort of level that can single-handedly help a franchise become relevant again. It’s been a long year for the young guard, who has seen sporadic minutes off the bench thanks to the bizarre tendencies of Byron Scott and has taken a back seat to Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour.
Russell has mostly been patient through it all and was happy to soak in the moment:
God is Good!
— D’Angelo Russell (@Dloading) March 2, 2016
Jim Park is a blogger and Tweet of the Night author of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.