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Watch Lakers Top Pick D’Angelo Russell Finally Dazzle A Bit In Summer League

The Los Angeles Lakers’ selected D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft to help shepherd in a tricky post-Kobe epoch after L.A.’s penultimate franchise failed to make the playoffs in the last two seasons. So far, the point guard out of Ohio State has failed to live up to this lofty draft-night standards, shooting 31.7 percent from the floor through four summer league games and a dreadful 7.7 percent (1-of-13) from beyond the three-point arc.

But in a 88-86 losing effort against Dallas’ summer league squad on Wednesday night, Russell showed off his preternatural passing and an ability to get into the teeth of a defense and finish in traffic.

When are people going to stop playing him to the left? He’s left-handed! Nick Van Exel, Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic are cackling out loud to themselves.

Oh, and D-Russell also hit a shot from beyond not just the three-point line, but the mid-court line, too, with this heave.

Unfortunately, that’s his only three-pointer in 13 attempts this summer. Good thing he’s training with two-time MVP, Steve Nash. Always a smart move to work with a guy who is a member of the prestigious 50/40/90 club.

But D’Angelo is a pass-first point guard, just like Nash, and he certainly showed off his ability to use the high screen to slash past the extra defender and spot a rolling teammate when his defender hedges high.

He can also take it all the way to the cup if the defender hesitates after Russell turns the corner.

Watch him run a perfect pick and roll with Tarik Black here. He uses the screen and a shot-fake to freeze the rotating defender and bounce a pass to the cutting Black.

The Lakers have themselves a point guard of the future, and their fans just need to give him time to catch up to the NBA game. The pace of play is the biggest adjustment for rookie point guards; plus, point guard is the deepest position in the Association.

After last night, Lakers fans should rest a little easier.

(Vines via Oakley and Allen, Rob Perez, Harrison24)

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