Evaluating the overall impact of D’Angelo Russell on the Los Angeles Lakers
The overall impact of D’Angelo Russell should not only be in terms of padding his statistics. Instead, his numbers should translate into wins for the Los Angeles Lakers. Or, at the very least, the team should be on pace to win with him on the floor.
Per stats.nba.com, D’Angelo Russell has put up higher numbers since the All-Star break. Everyone’s aware that during the deadline, the Lakers decided to part ways with their leading scorer, Lou Williams, who was traded to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a first-round pick.
Thus, it opened up more opportunities for Russell to have a higher usage rate.
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The Bright Side
True enough, Russell has made the most out of the opportunity by averaging more minutes (32.7 mpg), more points (20.6 ppg), more field goals made (8.4), more field goals attempted (18.2), more assists (5.8 apg), more steals (1.8 spg), more blocks (0.4 bpg), and shooting better from the field (46.2%).
His usage rate since the All- Star break has increased to 29.4 compared to 27.4 before the break. His PIE has also increased to 11.7 from 10.2.
Russell playing like a future All-Star point guard, statistically speaking, is something that Lakers fans would want to see. Yet, are these numbers really translating into wins?
Are the Los Angeles Lakers performing better when D’Angelo Russell is putting up these impressive numbers?
The Other Side
D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers have played six games since the All-Star break. Unfortunately, they lost all six games, with a team +/- average of -13.6. Ironically, these were also the six games, in which, D’Angelo Russell put up better numbers.
Coincidence? Let us look into the numbers.
Per stats.nba.com, the advanced statistics of Russell would suggest that the Lakers performed worse when he was on the floor in these past six games, in spite of his impressive numbers.
Russell’s offensive rating was only at 98.9, which was seven points lower than his offensive rating before the break. His defensive rating was at 114.3 which was a little higher than the 110.4 he had before the break. Thus, his net rating for the past 5 games was at a glaringly bad, -15.4 when he was on the floor.
To simply put it, D’Angelo Russell may have put up better numbers. Yet, these numbers have not translated into wins. More importantly, the Lakers, in general, did not play well when he was on the floor.
Probably, it would be best for D’Angelo Russell to look for other ways to impact the Los Angeles Lakers, in which, the whole team would benefit.