The Los Angeles Lakers don’t have much time to improve their team chemistry ahead of the postseason. They struggled mightily at the beginning of the year, but their trade deadline dealings have put them in a position to make a serious push down the stretch.
On Friday night, they managed to take care of business against the Minnesota Timberwolves, earning a 123-11 victory. Anthony Davis led the charge on the offensive end, but D’Angelo Russell managed to make an impact despite his rough shooting performance. After the game, he spoke about the defense Anthony Edwards played on him and how he was forced to adjust.
“We just utilize the matchup. I mean, they got some great defenders over there. They got a great defensive team. They put Anthony Edwards on me, who is a hell of a defender,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “So, I mean, I look at it as – create [and] make things happen. Not let him affect the game defensively because that’s what gets him going, and I know that. So, for me, it was just trying to point guard it. Make things easy for everybody else. We just utilize the matchup. I mean, they got some great defenders over there. They got a great defensive team. They put Anthony Edwards on me, who is a hell of a defender. So, I mean, I look at it as – create [and] make things happen. Not let him affect the game defensively because that’s what gets him going, and I know that. So, for me, it was just trying to point guard it. Make things easy for everybody else.”
Russell finished the night with 12 points, one rebound, and 10 assists on 5-of-12 shooting from the field and 1-of-4 shooting from three-point range.
Meanwhile, Edwards ended the game with 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 4-of-16 shooting from the floor and 2-of-7 shooting from deep.
D’Angelo Russell Credits LeBron James
Meanwhile, after the Lakers’ recent win over the Chicago Bulls, Russell spoke about how LeBron James and Davis open the game up for himself and Austin Reaves.
“I mean, as I said earlier, if you can dominate the game from a lot of different areas and have that versatility. I mean, I don’t know if you can name anything Austin Reaves can’t really do on the offensive end,” Russell said via the NBA Inteviews YouTube channel. “He dominates the game. And myself, I try to do the same. So, when you got us next to those two guys out there, the game’s just super simple. We got off to a great start, and you can kind of get a taste of it. AD had 40 points, and Bron [on a] minute restriction, like it was just easy. It never felt like we were stressing. The offense never really felt like it wasn’t fluid. So, I give the credit to the guys that we’re around.”
Darvin Ham Sounds Off on Malik Beasley
In addition, head coach Darvin Ham recently spoke about the struggles of Malik Beasley.
“I don’t know if he’s lost confidence. He’s probably a little frustrated,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Again, I’m behind him 1,000%. And he’s going to continue to get his minutes. And we just got to continue to set great screens for him. Encourage him to continue to shoot the ball and to continue to compete defensively. There’s no magic pill. He’s just got to keep playing ball. Every night’s not going to be your night. In an 82-game season, you’re going to struggle. Have nights where you struggle. Same goes with Bron, AD, Austin, D-Lo [D’Angelo Russell], Dennis [Schroder]. Nobody. Nobody is 82-0 in terms of outstanding performances. So, you just got to continue to encourage him to do what he does, and I’m sure he’ll do that.”