New Lakers head coach Byron Scott recently said that Nick Young is projected to come off the bench once again, which makes us wonder if that’s the right move.
Young had arguably the best season of his career last year. Statistically, he nearly matched his 2010 output with the Wizards, averaging 28.3 minutes per game versus 31.8 minutes per game with Washington. He averaged 17.9 points per game to lead the Lakers versus 17.4 as a Wizard. His field goal percentage with Los Angeles was 43.5%, compared to 44.1% with Washington and his numbers behind the arc were nearly even at 38.6% versus 38.7% with the Wizards.
So what was the difference? Young was a more impactful player for the Lakers. He had a slow start entering the season as a starter but he fit into his role as a sixth-man easily because he was willing to make changes to his game and it was the best position for him to succeed.
The main difference between his year with the Wizards in 2010 compared to last season with the Lakers is the number of starts. In 2010 he had 40 starts and last year he had 6. The Lakers were completely injury-plagued last season but Young still had more three more wins than with the 2010 Wizards, a team that included John Wall, JaVale McGee, Jordan Crawford and Andray Blatche.
It will be interesting to see what kind of season he will have. The Lakers are at +6500 to win the NBA Championship at America’s Bookie and some experts and fans don’t even think that they can make the playoffs but the team will be healthier and more balanced after adding Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin and rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson and Young is expected to complement Kobe Bryant and if his numbers are similar to last year’s he will be very important to the Lakers.