The ball sailed crosscourt into D’Angelo Russell’s hands. The Lakers’ rookie point guard needed only one touch to make a pass. He needed only a split second to decide where to dish the ball. And he did not need a set of eyes to make the highlight reel of the Lakers’ 93-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at Staples Center.
“I can’t really explain it,” Russell said of his play. “It was just an instinctive play. I see everything. I see the future.”
Lakers coach Byron Scott tried to explain it.
“He was thinking about getting on ESPN with one of the top plays,” Scott said. “I thought it was pretty cool. I could see it coming from where I was. I thought he could pick it up.”
But there was also another way to explain the play. Despite finishing with six points on 3-of-14 shooting, five assists and six turnovers in 26 minutes off the bench, Russell still affected the game well without stuffing the box score. He looked comfortable running the offense. He found Jordan Clarkson open for a series of off-ball cuts that contributed to him scoring 19 points. And, of course, Russell performed his highlight reel to Randle.
“I was just running,” Randle said. “If i was going to get the offensive rebound, whatever, it may come to me. It may not. But I was just running and D-Lo saw me. He has eyes in the back of his head.”