Lakers’ Twitter was flooded with confusion after fairly new Lakers beat writer Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) had a faulty tweet. Ganguli reported that D’Angelo Russell would be out after reading a typical Lakers PR release incorrectly. According to Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA), the release was a normal release from LA, in which they release info about the previous game. Ahmed then stated Russell would be probable for the next game.
It caused quite a fluster until more and more either saw Ahmed’s tweet or saw the Lakers PR team say that Russell would be probably for Tuesday (December 20) against the Charlotte Hornets (4:00 p.m. PST). Russell was a full practice participant on Monday in Charlotte (according to @Lakers).
Getting D’Angelo back will be a boost as usual for LA. The Lakers are eight points per 100 possessions better with Russell on the court. Russell’s stats may not jump off the screen, but do not let that fool you due to his meager 25 minutes per game. When his stats are projected in a Per 36 (minutes) form, Russell is averaging 21.2 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game.
While Charlotte (15-13) is having an up and down year, PG Kemba Walker is having a phenomenal season. In 33.2 minutes per game, Walker is averaging 22.4 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. Russell may not defend Walker, but Los Angeles will need the added fire power to offset the Hornets staunch defense.
The questions revolving around Russell, some of these question can even be said to be unfair, seem to be quieted some with further knowledge of his upcoming play. What should be noted is that coming off an injury, players tend to need rest. This is especially true when the player is of the utmost importance like Russell.
With news of Russell’s likely return, little is left to be known for Los Angeles. Tarik Black who is probable (ankle), and Jose Calderon (right hamstring) is out.
All stats are from http://www.basketball-reference.com/.
Image by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports