On a night when the Brooklyn Nets desperately needed a floor leader to get things under control as the third quarter began to get away from them, D’Angelo Russell did not rise to the task.
Instead, Russell was a major contributor to the collapse with three turnovers in the quarter. When the momentum began to shift, Russell’s answer was to rush and that almost never is a good solution.
He had some nice moments in the first half, knocking down a couple of 3s and making some good moves on penetration.
Russell also did a nice job of challenging All-Star Kyle Lowry in transition, drawing an offensive foul that got the Raptor point guard on full boil before Lowry was ejected for arguing that call and another whistle he didn’t like just a few moments later.
But seven turnovers and just one assist is a dreadful ratio for a team’s point guard, even with the understanding that Russell is more scorer than facilitator.
Caris LeVert shifted into the backcourt on Wednesday, starting at the 2 spot in place of injured Allen Crabbe after making his first two preseason starts at the 3.
LeVert’s shot was hot-and-cold and his struggles from 3-point range continued. He’s now 3-for-13 from deep in three preseason games and still appears to be rushing the shot from deep, even when he’s open.
LeVert’s turnovers are a legitimate worry — he has 11 in the last two games alone and leads the team this preseason with 14 overall. He’s offset that with 13 assists, which is not a great ratio for a guy who is the team’s secondary ball-handler when on the floor.