The Golden State Warriors are counting on a big season from D’Angelo Russell.
D’Angelo Russell acted as a sweetener for losing Kevin Durant in free agency. The Golden State Warriors lucked out by being able to replace Durant with a 23-year-old All-Star capable of leading the next generation of Dubs basketball.
D-Lo showed massive improvements last season with the Brooklyn Nets, putting up career-high numbers in points and assists. His breakout campaign helped remove any doubt of his star potential. One day, Russell could become one of the best point guards in the entire league.
For now, the Warriors need D-Lo to take another step in his development and contribute to a championship-contending team. Up to this point, Russell has spent his career on teams with zero chance of winning a title.
This transition should be easy for Russell. He has always displayed a winning attitude and he couldn’t have found a better place to play than in Golden State. The Warriors have established a fool-proof system for success, paving the road for Russell to have another career-year.
Playing alongside Stephen Curry, D-Lo will have plenty of opportunities to soak up information from the best point guard in the game. I fully expect Russell to make improvements to his shooting touch and overall understanding of the offense with Curry mentoring him.
Most of all, Russell will be filling in gigantic shoes. With Durant gone and Klay Thompson sidelined, the Warriors need to find offense somewhere. Russell put up 21.1 points per game last year, but he could easily eclipse this within the Warriors system.
Behind exceptional ball movement and team chemistry, the Dubs have had a top tier offense in the league in each of the last five seasons. Plugging a player as talented as Russell into the scheme should be effortless.
On top of scoring, we should expect Russell to continue making strides as a playmaker. He will likely handle the ball a lot in the pick-and-roll, giving him a chance to rack up assists quickly.
Overall, Russell will need to step up in a big way if the Dubs want to be victorious. Luckily, the team has done everything they can to set him up for success.