D'Angelo Russell operates at a different pace than the Warriors are used to. He doesn't push the ball like a runaway train in the form of forward Draymond Green, and he doesn't run through a maze of defenders like fellow guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Russell often slows the game down, working as one of the best pick-and-roll players in the NBA. He navigates the offense on cruise control with perfect vision, ready to strike for a mid-range jumper or slip a sweet bounce pass. And Curry has no problem with that.
"I don't mind it at all," Curry said on the latest episode of the "TK Show." "I know for the defense, that's where he's at his best. You never ask a guy like that to change the way he plays, the way he sees the game."
Russell, 23, is coming off the best season of his four-year career. He was an All-Star for the first time last season with the Nets where he averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game. The Warriors saw him as a key piece to their present and future when they acquired him in a sign-and-trade this offseason with Brooklyn.
With Thompson out until at least the All-Star break, Curry and Russell will have to build chemistry soon into the season. The two began doing so long before preseason began, too, working out together to better each other's game.
Over four preseason games, Russell averaged 18.0 points and 3.0 assists per game with his new team. As the regular season progresses and D-Lo becomes more comfortable in coach Steve Kerr's offense, he and Curry could form one of the best backcourts in basketball. For that to happen, Russell needs to listen to Steph's message: "Be yourself, understand how you're gonna get your looks and touches in our patterns on offense."
Curry admits there were a few times in the preseason he had to remind Russell to let it fly in the flow of the offense when he had an open look and then pick apart the defense on the next possession. That will come with time. For now, it's all about what the two-time MVP is preaching to his newest star teammate.
"Nobody's asking him to change," Curry said.