In brief minutes, D’Angelo Russell showed glimpses of promise for the Golden State Warriors.
D’Angelo Russell made his much anticipated debut for the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. The 2019 NBA All-Star played limited minutes and showed obvious signs of rust as the Los Angeles Lakers jumped to an early lead and coasted to a 123-101 victory.
In 18 minutes of playing time, Russell scored just 4 points and recorded 1 assist. He shot 0-for-4 from deep and 2-of-9 overall from the field. He also posted a plus-minus of -19, the lowest of anyone on the roster besides Alfonzo McKinnie.
It’s safe to say that this was a less than ideal start to the season for D-Lo. Luckily, it’s still only preseason and he has time to figure things out. There’s certainly a lot to learn from this game for Russell.
For starters, he needs to adjust to playing alongside stars like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. The expectations for Russell have never been higher and he is feeling the pressure. This isn’t a bad thing, as even Curry showed signs of jitters as the Warriors played their first game in a brand new arena.
D-Lo’s struggles should be expected. For the first time in his career, he is playing under extreme pressure on a team with championship aspirations. He is also the newest member of a franchise that is scrambling to keep their head above water after numerous losses in free agency and a massive injury to one of their star players.
As the Warriors continue to play together and work in practice, Russell should get an understanding of where he fits in the offense. Growing comfortable with his teammates will open the floor for D-Lo as playmaking is his strongest attribute.
Overall, the entire Dubs roster played lackadaisical in this first game. The Lakers simply came out with more energy and stole the show. The Warriors will benefit greatly from raising their energy level in the regular season.
This will be good for Russell as well. It will be much easier for D-Lo to catch a rhythm when the entire team is clicking. Though this wasn’t the best start for Russell, it shouldn’t give us any reason to worry yet.