1. Russell looks for a bounce-back
D’Angelo Russell comes into Sunday night’s game off his lowest-scoring game of the season on Friday against the Indiana Pacers.
Russell scored just three points on 1-of-8 shooting in 26 minutes against the Pacers, hitting 1-of-4 from 3-point range, while dishing out nine assists and committing four turnovers.
He scored 15 points in 27 minutes the last time the Brooklyn Nets faced Phoenix on Nov. 6, going 6-for-15 overall and 1-of-6 from deep, while finishing with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and no turnovers.
Inconsistency has been an ongoing theme for Russell throughout his four-year NBA career.
He’s averaging career-highs of 17.5 points and 6.2 assists in 29.1 minutes per game and has started all 34 games thus far, avoiding the injury bug that cost him 19 games in 2016-17 and 34 games last season.
Russell has been in a bit of a shooting slump of late,outside of a 13-for-19 performance in the Dec. 16 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Over his last seven games, Russell is shooting 41.8 percent overall and 38.5 percent from 3-point range, but those figures include the Atlanta game.
He is averaging 8.4 assists per game over that span along with 14.1 points.
On the season, he’s at 41.8 percent overall and 36.3 percent from deep.
ESPN’s NBA Insiders identified Russell and Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier as potential targets as restricted free agents next summer for the Suns, who are currently starting rookie second-round pick De’Anthony Melton at the point.
And given that Russell and Phoenix star Devin Booker are close friends, there’s some added incentive for DLo to bounce back.