I’ll never forget Nick Young saying,
“I’m the new Kobe position. I’m the new Kobe.“
Young would probably admit that no one in Los Angeles, perhaps for a very long time or ever, will live up to that standard that the Laker Guard alluded to during the D’Antoni Years.
Young has also said things like, “no one in the world can guard me one-on-one..” This is true. Nick Young is a weapon. When he is on there is not a whole lot one can do about it. Of course, one can say this about a lot of “shooters” in the NBA. But, Nick Young has a side-step shot coming out of a rhythmic back-and-forth dribble that really makes his shot indefensible.
And, unlike last season, Nick Young is “getting his shot.” After putting up a career-high point-per-game average in 2013-14 of 17.9, Young regressed under Head Coach Byron Scott the last two seasons ( 13.4 and 7.3 ppg).
In fact Byron Scott benched Nick Young on numerous occasions last season (2015-16). Young played in his lowest minutes per game
since his rookie campaign (2007-08) and put up his fewest attempts per contest since then as well.
Yes, Nick Young has been with the ball-club under the “worst” Coaches, record-wise, the Laker Organization has ever seen and I am sure this was not what he had in mind when he signed here. So, he should “get his shot.”
Nick Young, Getting His Shot This Season:
After Career Low Numbers since his Rookie Season in 2007-08, Nick Young has been given a Golden Opportunity and is flourishing again under Head Coach Luke Walton.
Minutes Played 2015-2016: 19.1 Minutes Played 2016-17: 27.1
Games Started 2015-16: 2 GS /54 GP Games Started 2016-17: 15/15
Points/REB/Assists 2015-16: 7.3/1.8/.6 Points/REB/Assists 16-17: 14.3/2.7/1.3
Young’s 2.7 Rebounds per game is the highest of his career. He is also posting, thus far in the “Young Season,” a career high 93.9% Free Throw Percentage.
His 46% from the floor is also a career-best mark. Yes, under Luke Walton, Nick Young has his Swag back and his numbers show it. Luke has him rebounding, playing defense and has him confident in his shot again.
Last night in the Win over OKC Coach Luke kept Young in, out of all the starters, because of the defense he was playing on Russell Westbrook. Yes, you read that correctly. Young has bought-in and has been playing perhaps the best defense of his career (something Byron Scott could NOT do). Young’s size actually bothered Westbrook. There is no STOPPING Russell but to bother him or slow him on occasion is anything anyone can ask for.
The Thunder did “win” on the glass for this second meeting but no one reached double digits and put-backs were limited. Westbrook led the team with 8 boards.
There were SIX LAKERS in double figures scoring. Nick Young ended the night with 17 points, 2 REB, 1 Assist, on 6-12 FG and 4-7 from behind-the-arc. Young also added a team-leading TWO BLOCKED SHOTS along with Tarik Black and Timofey Mozgov.
Black, another player “banished by Byron” last season is also getting his opportunity to shine this season for the Lakers. One could easily point to the fact that Nick Young and Tarik Black are finally getting utilized correctly as some reasons why these Lakers are improved. Black and Calderon lead the team with 6 Rebounds.
Calderon? Yes, Calderon. Jose filled in nicely after a shaky start of some bumbling turnovers and broken ankles as Westbrook flew by. He ended up stepping UP and knocking DOWN Four of his Five Field Goals. All of them Threes.
Great Team Effort on a night where the Lakers were without their starting Point Guard, D’Angelo Russell. That’s ok, Young had the “Ice in his Veins” that the Team needed for the dub.
Young, and others on the squad, thought that Young deserved a “steal” in the stat column.
It is Nice to see Nick Shine after what he has had to endure the last three seasons.
Lakers Win 111-109 over the Thunder; Face GSW Tonight in Oakland