D’Angelo Russell isn’t an All-Star (yet), but his January numbers were phenomenal, in some cases historic. Russell finished the month averaging 23.8 points. 7.3 assists and nearly four rebounds while shooting a torrid 48/41/85. He also averaged fewer than three turnovers and more than one steal.
Here’s some highlights:
—He scored 40 points once, vs. the Magic on January 18. He had 30+ four times and 20+ in 12 of the 15 games he played.
—He established himself as one of the NBA’s reliable three-point shooters. Three times (in four games) he had seven or more three-pointers, each time hitting 50 percent or better to help his monthly number rise to 41.3 percent.
—He scored 357 points for the month, the most by a Nets player since the team moved to Brooklyn in 2012. That’s more than Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson or Deron Williams ever put up in the month.
—He hit 52 three’s in January, the highest monthly total in franchise history. It’s also the most threes made by any Eastern Conference player this month.
—And of course, the Nets were 11-4 for the month and didn’t lose a game at Barclays.
The single most eye-point number is the 30/0 games. As Dan Devine noted in The Ringer this week...
Since the NBA started tracking turnovers in 1977, only 13 players have recorded multiple games of 30 or more points, seven or more dimes, and zero cough-ups in a single season, and entering 2018-19 no one had managed more than two in a campaign. Russell now has notched three such games since mid-December.
If want to know who were among the players with two such games in a season —one fewer than DLo with 29 games to play— the list reads like a Hall of Fame induction class, with Larry Bird, Joe Dumars and Adrian Dantley plus current players like LeBron James and Steph Curry.
Will it all help him make the All-Star Team when Adam Silver replaces the injured Victor Oladipo?
“That’s not up to me, honestly,” he said Thursday. “Like I said, to be in this position where my play individually is getting that type of exposure, that’s something you definitely want to put on your shoulders. But it is what it is.”
His coach was more forthcoming.
“Listen, I just think these things work their way out. He’ll keep playing well; he’s been outstanding. The Bulls game [Tuesday], watching the film again, it was really a masterpiece especially in how to play the pick-and-roll offense, all the reads it was almost a perfect game,” said Kenny Atkinson.
“I think of how far he’s come from the first day, his growth has been greater than we all expected. That’s wonderful news for the Nets.”
- The way D’Angelo Russell still can become an All-Star - Brian Lewis - New York Post