Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images
D’Angelo Russell once said, “Did I read that right?” on Wednesday night’s stats.
The Los Angeles Lakers point guard led the way with 35 points on 13-for-17 shooting (5-for-7 from 3-point range), nine assists, and two blocks (perhaps the most surprising number of them all). The team dismantled the young Detroit Pistons 133-107.
Anthony Davis had 28 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks, and LeBron James had 25 points and 8 rebounds. Cade Cunningham had 15 points and five assists for Detroit.
James also received a technical foul for falling during the game, which may have been a therapeutic moment for his critics, but also a funny one. given his history Isaiah Stewart:
Bleacher Report @Bleacher Report
LeBron Evaluated Skill for Failed vs. Isaiah Stewart 😳 pic.twitter.com/yiAbtVg543
But this is the DLo Show, and while some fans and pundits joke that Russell only plays against bad teams, most stand behind his stellar shooting and game play:
Billy Reinhart @Billy Reinhart
We need to stop this stupidity. D’Angelo Russell is clearly the Lakers’ third-best player. https://t.co/opA3skGM4K
open @provide context
DLO does this every time he faces a team fighting to win the NBA Draft Lottery. pic.twitter.com/wELf4TKx5k
After his poor performance in the Western Conference Finals last season (averaging 6.3 points per game, shooting 32.3% from the field, and 13.3% from three-point range), Russell earned a reputation as a hot-and-cold player to a certain extent.
But he’s been solid this season, justifying the Lakers’ decision to sign him to a two-year, $36 million contract this summer (with a player option for next year). He is the team’s third-leading scorer (16.7 points per game) and second-best playmaker (6.2 points per game), although some corners of the Lakers believe Austin Reeves is becoming second-best behind James And the third person in AD.
The Russell on Wednesday night was closer to the Russell the Lakers (11-8) need in the playoffs than the Russell he was against the Denver Nuggets in May. However, most teams will provide more resistance than the 2-16 Pistons.