Former Buckeye D’Angelo Russell has been named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player Of The Week for his recent play. Russell has been on an absolute tear as of late averaging 28 points and 7 assists in Brooklyn’s three games last week. D’Angelo lead the Nets in wins over the Celtics, the Rockets, and the Magic. He would come up big in each of these games hitting clutch shots including the step-back game-winning three in Orlando. Russell also managed to score 40 points that game while not attempting even a single free throw. He also put up 31 points in a win over the Kings Monday night to start this week.
This all brings up and adds to the case of should D’Angelo Russell be an All-Star. The short answer in my opinion, is absolutely. Russell is currently averaging 19.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game. He also is averaging just over one steal per game. He has been stellar all season helping the recently awful Brooklyn Nets off to a 25-23 start giving them the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference as of now. He is also shooting 44 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc proving his efficiency as a shot-creating perimeter player.
The real greatness of Russell this season is his scoring combined with his play-making. The Nets have lacked both of these things in recent years and D’Angelo is at the forefront of this team doing so now. His passing and shooting was nothing new to Buckeye fans, but the NBA had only seen inconsistent flashes of those things up until this point. He is now thriving in the Brooklyn offense and is using his game to lead them to win after win along with the likes of teammates Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen.
- The Pick And Roll: D’Angelo absolutely excels in the pick and roll with his passing and scoring abilities forcing the defense to pick their poison. Go under the screen or double the roll man, he’ll pull up and hit the three. Go over and trail the pick, he’ll get to the rim and finish. Trap and double him, he’ll find the roll man or a shooter with his incredible vision. When he is on his game, which he has been all year, he is unstoppable in this play.
- Isolation Play-Making: Russell is a tremendous isolation player. He creates great shots for his teammates and himself on a regular basis playing one on one. He can get to the rim or stop on a dime and pull up for a knock-down jumper at any second. His vision allows for him to find teammates when he draws too much attention as well. The ball seems to zip out of his hands and he seems to always make the right play and hit the exact right teammate for a phenomenal look.
- Controlling Pace And Flow: D’Angelo keeps the pace and flow of the game in his hands at all times. He can push the ball up the floor quickly and he can slow it down whenever he wants. He is great at pushing the pace and catching the defense when they’re not set and getting easy transition buckets. He may be just as good, if not better in the half court. He is so incredible at creating space and making the offense flow and execute perfectly. He knows how the defense is scheming against them and will completely pick them apart with on and off- ball screens and his one on one ability.
D’Angelo Russell is an all-star by every definition this season. He has helped lead a struggling team to a winning record and a current playoff spot. He is putting up incredible numbers and has been a clear leader for the team all year. The former Buckeye should find himself in Charlotte for the 2019 All-Star Game.
Image from The New York Post