It’s a massive weekend for the Reds who travel to Leicester for a must win Champions cup match having lost their last three games in a row.Irish Times rugby correspondent Gerry Thornley describes the move as a vote of confidence in Foley.Leinster may find out today if Cian Healy will be available for Saturdays meeting with Toulon at the Aviva. The Prop was cited for foul play in last weeks match and his hearing will take place today.
That contrasted sharply to the career-high 39 points Russell had on Tuesday in a rare win over Brooklyn. “He’s going to have his ups and downs,” Scott said of Russell. “But for the most part, he’ll come back and have four or five more good games. Then he’ll have another game where he doesn’t play extremely well. It just happens.”The Lakers (12-51) shot 36 percent, as the injuries gave more playing time to Nick Young, who started as the shooting guard and had five points on 1-of-9 shooting, and rookie Anthony Brown, who started at small forward and had seven points on 2-of-6 shooting.Forwards Julius Randle had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Brandon Bass had 12 points and seven rebounds. Guard Marcelo Huertas had 10 points.But that did not matter against Atlanta (34-28), which boasted six players hitting double figures in scoring. “It’s fun to a certain extent. I have one of the best jobs in the world,” Russell said. “Not playing our best as a team makes it tough.”It also has seemed tough with the pressure Russell has experienced with becoming the Lakers’ No. 2 pick. “I feel like if anybody else was here, it would be the same results,” Russell said. “It’s irrelevant. After you get to your team, win or lose, getting the top pick doesn’t really matter.”Perhaps that explains Scott’s caution beforehand about Russell’s progress. “He’s still nowhere near where we think he can be,” Scott said. “But he’s definitely headed in the right direction.”Russell entered Friday’s game averaging 23.2 points on 53.3 percent shooting and 4.8 assists in 32.6 minutes in his last five starts. That marked a stark contrast to his season averages in points (13.3), shooting percentage (42.9), assists (3.5) and minutes played (28). Yet, Scott strongly disagreed that those improved numbers simply correlated with Russell’s increased role. Instead, Scott argued that growth would not have happened as suddenly had Russell kept his starting role.“It helped him grow up,” Scott said. “When he got a chance to come back in the starting lineup, he showed some humility. He went out there and started to understand this is not going to be given to you. You have to earn it.”So amid frustration with the Lakers’ slow starts through 20 games, Scott replaced Russell in the starting lineup with Williams. “I wanted to put a veteran in there like Lou to show him the way on how to be prepared and come back ready to play,” Scott said. “From that aspect, I think it served him well. He obviously took a hold of it and has played well ever since.” Friday’s game against Atlanta was an exception. But that only provided another reminder on the instant analysis on whether Russell has lived up to the No. 2 pick, both for better and for worse. “I don’t know if he’s outplaying (expectations). But he’s starting to live up to what everybody on the outside thinks he should be,” Scott said. “Everybody puts too much stock in the first month of the season of a 19-year-old. We knew this kid was going to be pretty good. But we knew it was going to take some time and a lot of work.” The shots seemingly dropped into the basket anytime D’Angelo Russell released the ball. He fired from 3-point range. He sank floaters. He attacked the basket.But four days after a career-best performance, Russell offered none of those images in the Lakers’ 106-77 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday at Staples Center. Injuries to Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Jordan Clarkson (left knee) and Lou Williams (left hamstring) gave Russell nearly sole command of the Lakers’ offense. But that heightened responsibility did not correlate into a heightened performance. Russell scored just seven points on a 3-of-16 clip and had seven assists in 30 minutes. He also had a stretch in which he missed seven consecutive shots. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error