Stop Hating On D’Angelo Russell


The hate for D’Angelo Russell is real, and it isn’t helping.

Through the first stretch of games in the 2015 NBA season, Russell has recorded okay numbers.

But of course, Laker fans expected him to explode onto the scene like Damian Lillard a few years ago.

Right now, Russell is averaging about 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and about two turnovers per game on 39% shooting from the field.

Compare those stats to fellow top-10 pick Emmanuel Mudiay, and you’ll see that Mudiay has been just as bad as Russell, maybe even worse.

In addition, Mudiay is averaging 11 points, four rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block, but is shooting an anemic 30% from the field.

Mudiay has looked good in spurts, just like Russell but they both has been as dreadful as one another.

To add to my point, the other day against the San Antonio Spurs, Mudiay shot terrible from the field (2-12) with only 5 points.

Now, let Russell put up those numbers and I guarantee he will have bust written all over him.

The only impressive rookies that I’ve seen thus far are Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Kristaps Porzingis.

Furthermore, Porzingis has electrified Knicks fan and the legendary Garden with some great put-back dunks but his shooting percentage is barley at 40%.

As a matter of fact, it’s barley at 40%.

With that being said, the only two consistent rookies that are playing at a high level are Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor.

Towns has been a monster all season and he’s helping his team win games.

Okafor has been a monster when it comes to scoring the ball but his rebounding has been very inconsistent.

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Therefore, as a big man I expect Okafor to at least average 10 rebounds per game

However, running point guard in the NBA is a different animal in a guard driven league.

And for young Russell, Laker fans will have to be patient for this guy to progress and become that star that he’s going to be one day.

Additionally, if Russell averaged at least 30 minutes per game his numbers would look like Mudiay’s, but he will still be shooting a better percentage.

I believe coach Byron Scott restricts Russell’s and I agree with coach.

Before throwing a cub out there into the wild, he must learn and observe from his elders.

Also, hypothetically, if the Lakers would have choose Jahlil Okafor with the second overall pick, Okafor wouldn’t be getting 33 minutes per game and averaging 18 points per game and 7 rebounds per game.

Lets be realistic, he is a great talent but he wouldn’t be as successful right now.

Unfortunately, the style of play by this Laker team would hold back Okafor.

Take Russell off the team, and there are still 4 other guards that want to score.

Also, with Okafor’s lack of foot speed on defense and inability to shift laterally effectively, Scott will probably bench Okafor down the stretch at times for that lack of pick and roll defense.

Perfect example — Roy Hibbert has had 2 blocks in every game this season besides the last, and he only gets 26 minutes per game.

Bottom Line: the more opportunities to learn, the better.

Therefore, before people start dubbing Russell as a bust and that the Lakers choose the wrong guy, please think about it thoroughly and realize every team is built different.

Okafor wouldn’t thrive as much with the Lakers right now and I believe Russell would thrive much more in Philadelphia due to the opportunity of having the ball in his hands 100 percent of the time.