Other than stopping Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers have other problems to address.
High expectations were brought into this series by this team, but none of them have been satisfied thus far.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James have played at a good level, but the ones who are supposed to help them have been a shell of themselves.
D Angelo Russell went from going off on the Golden State Warriors to being completely erased from the court by the Denver Nuggets.
Stats show that the point guard has been terrible this series, which can explain why the Lakers have struggled so much to win.
D’Angelo Russell this series:
Game 1: 8 Points, 4/11 FGM, 0/3 3PM
Game 2: 10 Points, 3/8 FGM, 1/5 3PM
Game 3: 3 Points, 1/8 FGM, 1/6 3PM pic.twitter.com/wSqc17RinH
Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 21, 2023
While the Nuggets have Murray taking his game to new levels, the Lakers are seeing Russell collapse in front of their eyes.
This was completely unexpected for the Lakers, but anything can happen in the playoffs, good or bad.
Russell even admitted he didn t know what was going on with him, and vowed to figure out whatever was happening.
This isn t promising for the Lakers, who need Russell at his best level, helping James and Davis.
Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura have taken a step forward for their team, but Russell can t find his rhythm.
Many are urging Darvin Ham to remove Russell from the starting lineup but there is fear within the organization that this can hurt their chances to re-sign Russell in the summer.
It s now or never for the Lakers, and if the head coach doesn t make the difficult decisions, this team will be out of the playoffs as soon as tomorrow.