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26Aug/20

Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell moving back to point guard

first_img“If he’s making them, he can take 13,” Scott said, smiling. “What we talked about earlier is to get to those three spots – the post, mid post and elbow area – a little bit more. He can be more effective down there.”Bryant mostly agreed with Scott before resorting to playful sarcasm.“A lot of it was timing and getting a rhythm down,” Bryant said. “Thirteen 3’s are a lot of 3’s. But everybody [complains] when I don’t shoot enough 3’s. A lot of players shoot 15 or 13 3’s. But I’m held to a different standard.”Talking smackLakers forward Julius Randle saw an imposing figure that remains consumed with physically and verbally taunting his opponents. That man also represents one of Randle’s childhood idols. It was Kevin Garnett.But instead of the second-year player cowering under Garnett’s intimidation, Randle confronted the Minnesota forward.“I’m not scared of anybody. That’s what he does, try to get in people’s heads,” Randle said. ““I liked that, though. It gets me going.”Randle’s actions and words sounded pleasant to the Lakers’ ears.“He responded like a grown-ass man. KG has a lot of respect for him because of it,” Bryant said. “He’s laying the foundation. He wants to build his reputation around the league. He’s certainly doing that. He’s not intimidated by anybody.” “I wouldn’t say it took me away from my game,” Russell said. “I just adjusted from being the point guard and then playing off the ball is not foreign to me. I can do that. But in practice, I gained the chemistry with playing with guys on the ball.”Still, Russell obviously prefers playing at point guard. He excelled in that position in his lone season at Ohio State last year where he averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.“It’ll give me the opportunity to control the game a little bit more and let guys like Jordan and Kobe play off the ball,” Russell said. “They can attack when they get the ball. They don’t have to get a rebound or something and push it and make their job harder than what it is.”Live by 3, die by 3Scott took issue with Bryant going 3 of 13 from 3-point range against Minnesota. That marked the most 3-point attempts Bryant took since March 28, 2008. The five men convened at half-court. Lakers coach Byron Scott and guard Kobe Bryant began talking. Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell, second-year guard Jordan Clarkson and second-year forward Julius Randle listened intently. All of which presumably entailed something they had discussed earlier in Thursday’s practice.Scott’s experiment to feature Russell as an off-ball guard will become a one-hit wonder. Russell will start at point guard and assume ball-handling duties when the Lakers (0-1) visit the Sacramento Kings (0-1) on Friday at Sleep Train Arena.“The one thing I have to get D’Angelo to get better at is pushing the tempo,” Scott said. “He’s probably a better decision maker even at 19 years old and it’s his rookie year. So we’ll have him on the ball right now.”Bryant noted “that’s what we brought him here to do” after the Lakers drafted Russell at the No. 2 overall pick. But Scott wanted to lessen Russell’s workload. Yet, Russell posted four points on 2-of-7 shooting and recording more turnovers (three) than assists (two). Russell also did not play in the entire fourth quarter.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more