Byron Scott Comments on D’Angelo Russell’s Rookie Season, Progress and More

Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell isn't exactly having a big rookie season after he was selected second overall in the 2015 NBA draft. 

Speaking with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, Lakers head coach Byron Scott admitted that Russell isn't where he'd like him to be at this point of the season: 

I probably thought he’d be a little further. But ... 19 years old. I always take that into consideration. Every time I try to chastise him about something or get mad at him about something, I always go right back to, ‘You know what? Coach, he’s 19. He’s still a kid, he’s still learning, he’s still trying to figure out what this league is all about.'

Through 50 games this year, in which he's started 22 of them, Russell is averaging 12.1 points and 3.3 assists per game. He's been benched on multiple occasions, most recently during a Jan. 27 game for "trying to take over the game," according to Scott, per Baxter Holmes of 

Russell is shooting just 41.7 percent from the field, and his assist-to-turnover ratio could be improved on. Per those 3.3 assists, he is averaging 2.4 turnovers per game. For a point guard who usually is the floor general of the offense, that number has to improve if he wants to see success at the position. 

"[Russell's] just kind of figuring that out. I still see him progressing but I was hoping that he’d just be a tad further along," Scott told Bresnahan. 

He has work to do defensively as well. Russell has a defensive box plus/minus rating of minus-1.5, which ranks 339th among all NBA players. 

"Defensively, I was hoping he’d be a tad further along on the ball as well as off the ball," Scott said. "But those are things I look back from training camp until now, he’s gotten so much better in a lot of those areas. He knows...

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