D'Angelo Russell is setting Lakers fans up for massive heartbreak

The Lakers will likely end their season heartbroken at the hands of D’Angelo Russell.
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers signed D’Angelo Russell to a team-friendly two-year $36 million contract in the 2023 offseason. Most viewed it as the former All-Star getting paid, and the Lakers creating a sizeable contract to trade before the deadline, but Russell was too good. He has some thinking he is part of the team’s next Big 3 after LeBron James retires.

D-Lo has been outstanding this season. He is averaging 18.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 31.9 minutes per game. He is shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 42.4 percent on his 3-point attempts. Russell has made clutch shots and never lacks for confidence, but fans should not be fooled.

The 28-year-old is in the middle of his prime, but this is the story of his career. It is not some superstar breakout. D-Lo is white-hot and producing at an elite level, but he always falls back to earth.

D’Angelo Russell will break the hearts of Lakers fans this season

Over his last 26 games, Russell is averaging 22.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.3 rebounds on 47.7 percent shooting from the field and 45.7 percent on his threes. He had a similar 28-game stretch to close last season where he averaged 19.0 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.1 rebounds on 48.1 percent from the field and 43.1 percent on his 3-point attempts. D-Lo was a key part of the Lakers turning their year around and making the playoffs, but fans know what happened next.

The 6’3 guard averaged just 13.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.9 rebounds on 42.6 percent from the field and 31.0 percent on his threes in the playoffs. His minutes declined in the conference finals against the Nuggets and many were questioning if the Lakers would even bring him back in free agency.

D’Angelo Russell is an inconsistent player who struggles on defense. His peaks are star-level, but his lows make it hard to keep him on the floor. It is easy to fall in love with D-Lo when he is hot, but fans curse him when he goes ice cold. Russell is on fire now, but supporters should not expect him to be a playoff star this season. Defenses will stiffen, and he has historically struggled in the postseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers sit ninth in the Western Conference and are no lock to make the playoffs. They need D-Lo to stay hot to charge up the standings, but it will be LeBron James and Anthony Davis who determine the franchise’s playoff fate. Russell will struggle, but enjoy the hot stretch while it lasts.