D’Angelo Russell has now had his first practice with the Golden State Warriors new roster, and it’s almost time to see if the reality will match the dream.
While we still haven’t seen much, we have seen enough to know that Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell are getting along just fine. The two Golden State Warriors may help the team make up the league’s most dangerous backcourt.
Sadly, we’ve still yet to see them on the court in any meaningful action. In under three weeks, that will change. The late-October season-opener will help clear up a ton of assumptions surrounding this Warriors roster.
There’s none more notable than the reality that will be D’Angelo Russell in a Warriors jersey. The departure of Kevin Durant stung this offseason, but given that KD would be out the entire 2019-2020 season anyone, this swap may’ve been an ideal scenario for Golden State.
Now, they get to control their own future rather than worrying each offseason whether Durant would return. At the same time, they’ll be allowing that future in the hands of the ball-dominant Russell.
The fit with Curry will almost be forced. There’s no reason to believe that two ball-dominant stars could truly thrive on the same team. Regardless of how it’ll come across, there’s really no way this will fail given Curry’s ability to adapt.
In the postseason, we were treated with a ball-dominant, aggressive Curry. That Curry averaged over 35 points per game during the Western Conference Finals. Now, he’ll be paired with Russell instead of Klay Thompson.
Curry took a backseat of sorts and allowed Durant to go isolation on some possessions, limiting his full potential. He’ll likely do the same with Russell. The split of how much Curry owns the court when they are together could ultimately determine how well they mesh.
The reality is that Russell’s been arguably the team’s best scorer on each of the four rosters he’s played on. This will be a check for Russell to really transform his game into a more championship-approach, playing a more team-first, passive style on some possessions.
That could all be wrong though.
Maybe the Warriors come out and allow him to go one-on-one and pick-and-role more than Curry, giving the 31-year-old more time to rest during the regular season. Or, this could be the season of Curry and Russell’s year-over-year numbers may dip.
Either way, in a few weeks, we’re going to find out if the dream of Russell and Curry together is as good as the reality of the two superstar guards.