D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle Making Do in Byron Scott’s ‘Big Boys League’

December 9th, 2015 by Michael Pina Leave a reply »

In their first 20 games this season, the Los Angeles Lakers had only three wins, and none of their five top five-man units had a positive net rating, per NBA.com. For an organization so publicly inflexible about its commitment to winning, this made for a historically grotesque opening month.

Then on December 7, head coach Byron Scott mercifully pulled the plug on a starting lineup that was getting outscored by 13.9 points per 100 possessions. His most noteworthy scapegoats? D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, who were benched for Lou Williams and Larry Nance Jr. 

The decision sent shock waves throughout Lakers Nation. With a playoff berth already looking less likely than Kobe Bryant bagging his third scoring title, why do anything but intensify the evolution of two potential franchise cornerstones by playing them as often as possible? Relegation seemed just a tad counterproductive. 

But what if Scott was right? We're dealing with a microscopic two-game sample size, but since their demotion, Russell and Randle have responded with the best basketball of their young careers. The Lakers behave like th ...

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