There’s nowhere to go but up for the Cleveland Browns.
How far is questionable. Cleveland is coming off a 1-15 year in Hue Jackson’s first season as head coach. Can the Browns somehow have a .500 or better record in September and December? That was the key to a 10-6 season in 2007. Cleveland will know if that’s even remotely possible after an early-season AFC North round robin.
The Giants defense showed improvement last season, but the ground game was putrid and that resulted in mistakes by Eli Manning. If the G-Men can find a running game and the defense continues to make strides, they might score double digits in the win category. If the ground game is still nonexistent, the 9-7 prediction might be optimistic.
But for Russell, that’s not much redundant at all. Because neither he nor Lin is a pure point guard, he foresees a versatile, ball-sharing backcourt.
“I think it’s a go,” Russell told Sporting News last week at Gatorade’s Athlete of the Year event. “We just go. Whoever gets the ball, let’s run. I complement his game, he complements my game. He’s not a point guard, he’s not a shooting guard. I’m not a point guard, I’m not a shooting guard. I think we’re just basketball players trying to make the best of it.”
Russell averaged 15.6 points (on 40.2 percent shooting) and 4.8 assists last season for the Lakers, but was deemed expendable by the Lakers once it was clear the team would draft point guard Lonzo Ball. He had a rocky two seasons in Los Angeles, but says he bears no ill feelings toward his former team.
“It’s past,” Russell said. “I learned a lot and now I am moving on to a new opportunity. The situation is, you’re with one team and you go to another team and it is completely different. Brooklyn has been open arms from Day One for me, so I am looking forward to it.”