Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell is a talented basketball player. The Ohio State product can light up the scoreboard on any given night at the STAPLES Center with a scoring ability which has made him a valuable asset to the team in his first two seasons.
Although Russell's talent is undeniable, the 21-year-old still has a lot of work to do. In his exit interview with the Lakers brass on Tuesday, he was told he needs to focus on improving his consistency on the basketball floor, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“I wouldn’t say I played bad, but I looked throughout the season, I would say I was inconsistent at times,” Russell said. “Just in the exit interview that was the main focus, being consistent. The best thing about that is I can control that. I can control how much work I put in for me to be consistent. I know how hard I worked last summer and I saw the outcome of that for this year. I’m just excited because I kind of got a better feel for it going into my third year.”
Much like his rookie campaign, Russell had a bit of an up-and-down season in his sophomore year with the Lakers. At times, D'Angelo was the best player on the floor for the purple and gold, but then would return the next game and look like an entirely different player.
The front office duo of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka stressing consistency comes as no surprise. Russell wasn't the only one that struggled in that category with Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram also struggling in that department as they worked their way through the 2016-17 NBA season.
With Russell now having two years on his resume with the Lakers, the former Buckeye will be heading into an offseason in which the Lakers will hope he'll take the next step in his development and become the star they hope he'll be.
Russell averaged 15.3 points per game to go along with 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. All of these averages improved from his rookie season.