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Darvin Ham gets brutally honest on what D'Angelo Russell did to continue in LA

By James Brown

Darvin Ham gets brutally honest on what D'Angelo Russell did to continue in LA

The Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has opened up about D'Angelo Russell and his improvement on the season

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The Los Angeles Lakers are a different team when D'Angelo Russell is on the court and off it, and the biggest example has been in the last four games, in three of them, the point guard played and the team got the win. But when D'Lo missed the game vs. Denver, the team was close to getting the victory but the absence of Russell affected the group, and they lost.

Coming off a 30-point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, head coach Darvin Ham believes that everyone constantly encouraging Russell to be aggressive has played a role in this recent surge, which has been much-needed for the Lakers. Ham hinted at Russell's improvement making him stay in LA and with his shooting helping the team.

“It’s just all of us encouraging him to be decisive and deliberate and aggressive. As I’ve been mentioning, I think I mentioned it before this game, those stretches, we needed all of that. I told him he saved our ass a little bit and in his own humble way, he credited his teammates as well. Everybody stepped up and had a big game, I don’t know when the last time we had a starting five here that all had 20-plus points,Ham said.

“But he spearheaded that. Just his energy, his shot aggressiveness, all of that was on point. His teammates were looking for him and I give freedom. So some of the walkups, once he has it going, him, Bron has his stretches and AR, AD, whoever, Rui, we try to find those guys and we encourage those guys to stay aggressive. That definitely was the case with DLo tonight.”

Ham gives credit to Russell after giving him a coming-off-the-bench role

In December, it would have been easy for Russell to become discouraged, especially after getting benched due to his rough patch. However, Ham credits him for being engaged and continuing to work on his game. “I think a lot of times, people think you’re full of ‘ish when you’re telling them we have enough in the locker room, we just need to get healthy and get whole. The way he’s been playing, the way he started off the year, he hit a little tough patch. Every NBA player goes through that, especially when you’re a scorer in this league, you’re gonna hit a drought every now and again. But to his credit, he kept working on his game, kept working through it. I know I’ve encouraged him to stay aggressive, be aggressive,” Ham said.


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