Darvin Ham: Lakers Need D’Angelo Russell Playing At High Level To Be Successful

Ever since a rocky December, D’Angelo Russell is in a great groove offensively for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the perception of Russell is that he cannot perform against the upper-echelon teams in the league.

Lakers: Darvin Ham says he has 'all the confidence' in D'Angelo Russell -  Silver Screen and Roll

As L.A. ramps up for a playoff push and an attempt to get out of the Play-In Tournament, Russell is going to be a key contributor in making that top-six goal happen. Building and sustaining that confidence for the 27-year-old is going to be vital to accompany LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the scoring department.

In Monday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell hit three straight 3-pointers in the beginning of the fourth quarter to keep the Thunder at bay.

Head coach Darvin Ham spoke on how much he enjoys seeing Russell having fun on the floor, but also his importance to the team’s success moving forward.

“I just knew, he has those DLo moments where he can throw it up any kind of way and it’s gonna find its way in the hoop,” Ham said. “It’s great to see him out there having fun, his teammates cheering him on and encouraging him, him being decisive and aggressive. DLo is uber talented and we need him. We need him to play at that level for us to have that ultimate success. He’s doing a great job. He’s doing a little bit of everything.

“He’s being aggressive scoring when he sees opportunities, he’s setting his teammates up and he’s competing on the defensive side of the ball. He competed his butt off tonight. So it’s great to see him go out there and do well and be in a great rhythm.”

Amid all the trade rumors and uncertainty leading up to the Feb. 8 deadline, it is great to see the former Ohio State product have the continued support of his teammates and coach. Having that support system will be huge as the Lakers progress through this tough stretch.

In Russell’s last 10 games, he is averaging 20.5 points, 6.4 assists and 1.1 steals on 47.7% from the field and 41.5% 3-point range. Wednesday is another monumental game against the Sacramento Kings as securing a win and another solid Russell performance could go a long way.

D’Angelo Russell tries to make up for lack of athleticism with work ethic

The consistent theme for James-led teams is to surround him with shooters and Russell fits that mold. However, he is more than that as he is crafty with the ball in his hands. While he is not the most athletic guard, Russell recently stated that he tries to make up for that with his work ethic.

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