Nuggets’ Coaches, Players Fire Shots At Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell

Nuggets’ Coaches, Players Fire Shots At Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone took a brutal shot at Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell on Tuesday night.

Shortly after his team secured a 132-126 victory in their Game 1 Western Conference Finals showdown, Malone stepped to the podium to address the media.

One of the questions he tackled was the Nuggets’ defense on Russell.

Malone didn’t mince words.

“I felt we did a great job on D’Angelo Russell,” he said.

“So great that he wasn’t even in the game much in the second half.”

While Malone’s assessment of Russell was rough, it wasn’t inaccurate.

The Lakers guard struggled mightily for the day. He finished with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting. He also missed all three of his shots from beyond the arc and recorded a mere three assists.

Russell also wasn’t great defensively, which allowed Bruce Brown Jr. to score 16 points in 24 minutes.

Afterwards, Brown too fired a jab at Russell.

“He’s not the best defender, so we wanted to make it tough on him,” he said, per ‘The Athletic’ NBA insider Tony Jones.

Between his ineffectiveness on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, some have wondered if perhaps L.A. would be better off benching Russell in this series.

Unfortunately, that isn’t really an option at the moment. According to ESPN NBA insider Dave McMenamin, “there is concern the team could ‘lose’ the 27-year-old point guard if he views the adjustment as a demotion after starting every other game this postseason.”

So where does that leave the Lakers, particularly given what a hot topic Russell’s future with the organization has been? It’s unclear.

Obviously one bad game isn’t something to overreact to, especially given how crucial of a role Russell has played in the team’s resurgence post-NBA Trade Deadline.

That being said, the Nuggets are not the Golden State Warriors. They are not a small team. And it might behoove Los Angeles to trot out a bigger lineup than the three-guard unit they attempted in Game 1.

Either way, the Nuggets made it clear on Tuesday night that they plan to go after Russell hard. How will he respond when it’s all said and done? Time will tell.

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Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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