D'Angelo Russell Los Angeles Lakers
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated

D'Angelo Russell's Playoff Struggles vs. Nuggets Persist

Published April 21, 2024 at 11:45
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2024 NBA Playoffs not just as contenders for the championship but also with a narrative of personal redemption for point guard D'Angelo Russell. However, in Saturday's Game 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Russell's struggles from the past resurfaced as he missed 13 of his final 16 shot attempts and scored only 13 points.

Last year's four-game sweep by the Nuggets had seen Russell's role diminished, eventually losing his starting position before the series' conclusion. Despite this setback, Russell chose to re-sign with the Lakers in the offseason. His journey continued through the trade deadline without any trades, and his performance from early January until the regular season's end served as a beacon of hope for the Lakers, who entered the playoffs as the No. 7 seed after winning 12 out of 15 games.

Comparing his current statistics to those from last May against the Nuggets reveals a stark contrast. While he had struggled to contribute just 6.3 points on 32% shooting (13% from 3) and 3.5 assists per game during that series, his overall production this season has been much improved.

Following Game 1, Lakers coach Darvin Ham stated he won't bench Russell due to one poor shooting night, per The Athletic's Jovan Buha. Ham emphasized Russell's contributions in the regular season and the Play-In victory over the Pelicans, where he scored 21 points on 5-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. With Game 2 scheduled for Monday, April 22, the Lakers must quickly make adjustments.


Source Sporting News : D'Angelo Russell stats: Lakers guard's struggles vs. Nuggets continue in Game 1 of 2024 NBA Playoffs
Source ESPN : D'Angelo Russell falters late as Lakers drop Game 1
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D'Angelo Russell's Playoff Struggles vs. Nuggets Persist

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