The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night and came away with a 109-103 win. Even without LeBron James, it was a highly-anticipated game as three new trade acquisitions made their purple and gold debut (with Mo Bamba on the way).
There was some good in the new faces that donned the purple and gold on Saturday night and there were also some areas of improvement. Let’s hand out some report cards.
Los Angeles Lakers grades for new trade acquisitions:
D’Angelo Russell gets a B+ in his Los Angeles Lakers debut
This is not the first time that D’Angelo Russell has donned a Lakers jersey but he certainly is a much more mature and polished player since the last time he put it on. While there were still some holes in his game that were present this year with Minnesota, it quickly became clear that Russell is far better than what the Lakers had before.
In terms of overall output, Russell did not have the biggest game. He scored just 15 points in 35 minutes to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Those that just look at box scores would see that and say that he was not as impactful as Russell Westbrook.
Those that watched the game know that is far from the truth. First of all, the shooting difference alone was more than apparent in this first game. Russell only went 1-3 from three but he did go 6-12 from the field.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Russell’s debut was how he played in crunch time for the Lakers. While Dennis Schroder ended up having the biggest night, Russell had several key possessions late in the fourth quarter that kickstarted LA’s run that ultimately secured the victory.