Kevin O'Connor, your article was suprisingly accurate. After watching the first twelve games of the season, I started to believe Russell had become a completely different player. He was playing like a solid NBA starter (currently 19th in PER among point guards).
His defense has improved when it comes to cutting off passing lanes and collapsing toward the baseline after he inevitably gets beat off the pick and roll. And his offense, while streaky, can not be ignored by other teams’ starting guards. He still has to clean up the turnovers, but he also seems to have the knack of making the big assist at the end of games.
While he’s still only the team’s fourth best guard, the Lakers were 7–5 with him, and 3–8 without him. He helped the starters tread water a little before they bring in the super bench. With Calderon and Huertas, it feels like the Lakers start the game down ten and we can only pray they don’t go down by twenty.
Who would have thought Laker fans would be hoping for the day when Russell comes back?