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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 11/5/15

Thanks to some comments made by Lakers coach Byron Scott regarding Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, a mini debate has arisen regarding the merits of Mudiay versus Lakers rookie playmaker D’Angelo Russell. Scott said that as the draft approached he didn’t think that Mudiay was a true point guard, and the coach also questioned Mudiay’s decision-making. As for his own rookie guard, Russell, Scott said, “His workouts were extremely good. You saw the leadership qualities that he had. You saw the ability to pass the ball and make other guys better, the ability to get to the basket and the ability to knock down 3s, open jump shots and off-the-dribble shots. He had the total package offensively. Defensively, the one thing I thought he did was he competed.

Mudiay and Russell will always be linked and compared to each other because they were both first-rounders in the same draft class, such is the nature of sports. It’s an especially interesting debate considering neither player is a pure point guard, and both are learning the position and the league on the fly. Which brings me to today’s topic for discussion: Based on the early season returns, who do you believe is the better point guard — Emmanuel Mudiay or D’Angelo Russell?

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter. But don’t just settle for providing us with a name, we want to hear why you feel the way you do. We look forward to what you have to say.

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14 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 11/5/15

  1. Dana Gauruder

    They’re in different situations but I believe once Russell settles in, he’ll be the better player. Versatile scorer who often dominated games in Big Ten last year as a freshman. Mudiay has oodles of talent but he’s well on his way to leading the league in turnovers — by a wide margin.

    • Eddie Scarito

      I’m a big fan of Russell’s, but I believe Mudiay will be the better player in the long run. He has far superior physical tools, and has a star quality about him. Russell has seemed a bit immature thus far in how he’s dealing with his lack of playing time down the stretch, and his play has looked far too tentative. He appears far too overwhelmed for that high a draft pick for my comfort.

      I will concede that Mudiay is in a much better situation in Denver. There’s less pressure, no Kobe to deal with, and Malone appears far more committed to developing Mudiay on the fly that Scott does in L.A. with Russell. That makes a huge difference…not only in the early going of the season, but it will have a major impact for the long-term.

    • Tommy Davis

      I can’t think of any guard in the NBA that Russell can guard, he lacks quickness and foot speed. He’s also turnover prone as is Mudiay. Experience will help in that regard. Mudiay has strength, quickness, and foot speed so I would venture to say he is better and will have a better NBA career. Russell faced primarily zone defenses in College, he struggled when teams played man to man.

  2. Michael

    At this moment, Mudiay is a better point guard, playing for a Chinese pro league helped him developed into a good point guard. My concern about Russell is that he seems to be overwhelmed by the pro game, and right now ByronScott isn’t helping matter. By not playing Russell more often, and during crucial parts of games, it makes it harder for Russell to become a complete player.

    • Eddie Scarito

      Agreed. The Lakers need to look in the mirror and admit that the team isn’t going anywhere this season. Play the kids, let them take their lumps, and reap the benefits next season.

  3. aarongill

    Mudiay will be better for the first 2-3 years as he gets lots of playing time and is more NBA ready as he really needs to cut his turnovers down and shoot better.
    Fire Scott. Not making the playoffs let clarkson Russell Randle play 30 minutes a night and play nance brown and black more.
    Also fire Jim buss

  4. Russell definitely. He might not show it yet due to the fact that he doesn’t get a chance under Scott aka worst coach ever. Mudiay has been playing better than him lately but I still believe Russell is the better player in the long run once he starts getting plays and more minutes like the rest of the Rookies.

  5. 5 games in, too early. ..nice try though.

  6. Chuck Myron

    Mudiay. More upside, as far as I’m concerned, and with Jameer Nelson around to show him the ropes and a team that’s completely committed to his development, I’d bank on him over Russell.

  7. KevTheBold

    Russell, without a doubt.
    Though most are too busy or lazy to research this young man, he has the potential to become the greatest point guard in NBA history.

    Can’t say the same about Mudiay.

    Mudiay looks better now because he has a full season playing against pros in China, and he has the full support and green light from his team.

    While in lakerland Scott has D’Angelo on a leash, and lashes him when he makes a mistake.

    Even though this season is lost regardless, he refuses to free him and support him.

    Sooner or later however, his brilliance will shine.

  8. Can make the argument that high turnover #’s are actually good for a beginning PG out of the gate – show that they’re trying to make things happen offensively, and not avoiding mistakes, which are going to happen inevitably for a new player. I didn’t watch Russell in college but I haven’t seen him drive to the basket once in the NBA.

  9. OKC vs LAC

    Easy way to look at Best and worst case scenario/comparison for each player
    Reason why smaller markets actually aren’t so bad after all less pressure and less to do-meaning less distractions
    Mudiay best case:
    John wall I could see this due to both love passing the ball,both are fast,Both are big guards,Both had Shakey jumpers when they came into the league and Both went to a situation where they were allowed to just play through everything with a coach that let encouraged development.Seems like a level headed guy who could handle it better than Russell.
    Worst case scerio:
    Rajon Rondo(minus the attitude currently that is) He loves to pass currently has a bad f/t and shot like rondo.
    His situation is why big markets aren’t good for young players(They can’t handle the social hype they have never experienced it).As he seems to immature to handle it and may get distracted and forget to work on his game…He should watch old Kobe interviews to how to deal with media also….
    Best Case :
    Steve Nash : Both were slow footed,Both had solid shots,Play minimal defense due to being slow and both making some crazy passes happen showing talent.
    (Highly unlikely if he keeps the current attitude though).
    Worst case:
    Poor mans Mike Connolly(grizz) or Really bad case Jimmer freddette
    Mike Connolly Due to the both have a good shot,Came from the same program meaning they may have been taught the same way, both make good passes and Looked like they were a couple of years away from getting it/lacked confidence in their game…
    Jimmer Freddette mainly as they both believe that since they were the star in college they should be a star in the Nba but unfortunately go to the wrong situation and never want to change(this it the air about Russell I occasionally get).

  10. It’s too early to tell after just 5 games into the regular season, but if we are talking about right now, I would take Mudiay. Mudiay is being given the opportunity to play significant minutes right away without anyone challenging his starting PG spot and no pressure to succeed right away in a season with low expectations in Denver. If he can work on his outside shooting and minimize his turnovers, he’ll be the better player between the two down the road. Russell, meanwhile, hasn’t been playing well to start the season, because of questionable decision making, bad shot selection, and poor defense. As a result, he has seen his minutes cut down and sitting on the bench in fourth quarters. It may take more experience and playing time on the court for him to find his game and get comfortable running an NBA offense, which I think he can if given the opportunity. It isn’t all his fault though, especially when the head coach doesn’t believe in him. I think Scott is the wrong coach for a rebuilding team and, if the Lakers want Russell to prosper, they should look to move on from him after the season.

  11. smittyvbanton

    “Defensively, the one thing I thought he did was he competed.” Thats a backhanded compliment if ever there was one. Defense is at least half the game. Mudiay is and will be better at it. Advantage, Mudiay.

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