Russell, Randle, and Ingram at USA team practice

Russell, Randle, and Ingram at USA team practice

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The USA select team and the USA national team reported for practice today. Three members of the exciting young Lakers core was included with the Select team. It seems that Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle got a ton of work in.

Here is Ingram taking some shots behind the 3 point line.

Julius Randle also taking some threes. It looks like he has improved his shot a lot. Rumors said that a change in his form was a huge off season focus for him and his coaches. That seems to be paying dividends already.

D’Angelo took on some of the main team in these small 1 on 1 sets. First up was him in the post with Kyle Lowry. Lowry doesn’t have the height that Russell has, but he does have the body to put up a solid resistance. As you can see, resistance is futile with Russell’s 6’5 frame.

D’Angelo Russell also had to be on the defensive end as well. Russell is matched up with “Uncle Drew” himself Kyrie Irving. As you can see, Russell still needs some work on D, though Irving is a master at 1 on 1 play.

D’Angelo Russell was able to get a bit of revenge on Kyrie Irving. Russell may not have the same first step that Irving has, but he does have the size and continues to take full advantage of it.

Julius Randle was just as impressive in the post. Unfairly matched up with his young running mate D’Angelo Russell, he uses his size and “Don Julio” ways to bully his way into the paint. The most impressive and encouraging thing about this clip is his excellent use of the step back against Jabari Parker and Kyrie Irving. As I stated before, the shooting stroke looks increasingly improved and the results speak for themselves.

D’Angelo Russell was able to get revenge on both Julius Randle and Kyrie Irving, plus some shade at Harrison Barnes in this next clip. Russell’s jump shot is continuing to impress as he makes all three shots against all three players.

D’Angelo Russell clearly heard me when I said his defense still needs work. He takes on Julius Randle in a quick 1 on 1. Russell reads the whole play and causes what would be a jump ball in the NBA. A slight knock on Randle in this clip is his continuous want to go to his left. This could be why Russell was able to read the play and cause the block.

In all, as was stated in our initial report on the Lakers invited to the USA Select team, it cannot be stressed how important it is for the young players to attend these practices. The ability to work with all the coaches that attend, including Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, and Tom Thibodeau along with the ability to talk and work individually with some of the greatest players in the NBA is truly invaluable. Who can ever forget Kyrie Irving calling out Kobe Bryant in his first USA Basketball practice.

It builds confidence, skill, and most of all knowledge for three of the most important players of the Lakers’ future.

*All twitter posts courtesy of @shahanLA.

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