Lakers looking for D’Angelo Russell to provide star power

Lakers point guard needed D’Angelo Russell to shine a light, becoming the brightest in the NBA playoffs, but it has mostly faded.

Even when asked how he can help Anthony Davis get more touches vs defense Memphis Grizzliesthe main player of the Lakers became angry at this question, saying that he was a “basketball player” and played a certain role.

“I’m a basketball player. You can’t say point guard all the time,” Russell said. after game 2 of seven series tied at 1-1 and resumes on Saturday night with game 3 at the Crypoto.com Arena. “I’m a basketball player.”

He wasn’t very good in those high-stakes games for the Lakers.

In two games against the Grizzlies, he’s shooting 32.1% from the field and 28.6% from 3-point range while averaging 12 points.

In the Lakers’ last three high-leveraged games, including against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Russell is shooting 27% from the field and 22.2% from three-point range, averaging 8.6 points, well below him in season average 46.9% and 36.9%.

Russell is listed as a point guard on the Lakers’ roster and on other NBA websites.

Yet he has a different point of view.

“I’m the basketball player for this team,” Russell said. “Not quite the role of point guard. We’re just kind of hooping, you know?

Russell distributed the ball well and played confidently on the backboard, averaging 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in the playoffs.

Russell, who made $31 million in the final year of his contract, continues to struggle with his cast.

“This is a make-or-miss league,” Lakers coach Darwin Ham said after practice Friday. “Sometimes you are. Sometimes you’re not. We just hope he’s on Saturday.”

Injury updates

When the Lakers released their injury report on Friday, alternate point guard Dennis Schroeder was listed as likely with right Achilles soreness.

James (right foot tenderness) and Davis (right foot stress injury) were also listed as probable.

Everyone is expected to play, with Ham saying that Schroeder is “doing well”.

“He’s a soldier, man. He’s a tough guy,” Ham said. “Today he passed the bypass. Just a little… been there. But most of the time he was treated here. He’ll be fine. He will be ready for the third game.”

Schroeder wasn’t at his best offensively this series, averaging 3.5 points on 25% shooting, 33.3% on 3-pointers.

Hachimura flourishes

Surprisingly, Rui Hachimura performed strongly for the Lakers in the playoffs, becoming their second-best pick.

He is tied with James for 24.5 points per game in scoring, and Hachimura does his job off the bench at 31 minutes per game.

He shoots a whopping 69.2% from the field and 70% from threes. He also averages 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

“It just started with the regular season,” Hachimura said. “I trained with (Lakers assistant coach) Phil (Handy) and Phil was always telling me what the playoffs were like, what those shots were like, and how I would be a really important part of this team.

“I mentally prepared for this, for this moment. I just love these big moments, these big games. That’s how I get my power and everything. You know what my mind was like, I’m ready for it.”