Max Christie talks about learning from D’Angelo Russell

There was plenty of optimism coming into this season regarding Max Christie. The second-year guard was slated to become a regular part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation and emerge as a legitimate 3-and-D player.

But his playing time has been up and down, and his numbers have only slightly increased since last season. Lately, he has barely played at all, which has led to even more criticism for already beleaguered head coach Darvin Ham.

But in Monday’s 136-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Christie stayed on the court for 22 minutes and scored 11 points while adding three rebounds and one assist. He went 2-of-4 from 3-point range and wasn’t hesitant about putting up shots.

He said that he looks at fellow guard D’Angelo Russell for inspiration, since Russell plays freely.

Via Silver Screen and Roll:

“I think the thing I look for and watch most with D’Lo, it’s not even on the court – we all know he can play basketball – it’s the way he approaches the game and then I think mentally, too,” Christie said. “It seems like when he’s out there, he really is just really care free. He doesn’t really care about outcomes and really isn’t worried about what other people think of him. I think that’s something I can draw inspiration from, for sure.”

Russell had to deal with incessant rumors that he would be traded for Dejounte Murray weeks ago. But instead of going into a shell, which some players would’ve done, he stepped up his level of play beginning in mid-January, and he hasn’t really let up since.

Given their overall situation, the Lakers really need to maximize their draft choices. Christie may not turn out to be more than a reliable role player, but players like that are needed to win championships, and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire