Topic: We wonder which Los Angeles Lakers player most needs to step up while Sixth Man of the Year candidate Nick Young is injured.
Context: Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers were in the midst of one of the worst seasons in team history. The team lost 319 games due to injury and with Kobe Bryant gone for most of the season, the team was in dire need of someone to step up and take the reins.
That player was Nick Young. He embraced what it meant to be a member of the Lakers organization and with so many players hurt, Young was the face of the Lakers last season. Now, with a new roster, Young was expected to be one of the key players of the upcoming season.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, Young tore a ligament in his thumb during training camp and will be out for eight weeks, robbing the Lakers of one of their best scorers. With Young likely to be gone for the first month of the season, someone will have to step up to the plate as a major player off the bench.
There are a number of options on this roster as guys who will have to step up in the absence of Swaggy P, but which player will need to make the biggest jump?
Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our loyal followers, which player most needs to step up in the absence of Nick Young. These are some of the responses:
— Ocean Trade (@oceantradewind) October 5, 2014
— Jeremy. (@Jramezz) October 5, 2014
— Eric Weber (@ericweber15) October 5, 2014
— Ky-Ky (@K_Rush247) October 5, 2014
— 0-0 (@HashtagLakers) October 5, 2014
— Dominic Vito Barone (@dvito_barone) October 5, 2014
The fans have spoken and while Xavier Henry and Jeremy Lin have gotten some love, overwhelmingly the fans believe the burden is on Wesley Johnson to step his game up in the absence of Swaggy P.
While I understand why people would expect Johnson to have a larger role, the fact remains that he was already slated to start and likely already had a large role. Furthermore, Johnson is not someone who can create his own shot like Young can.
That is why I believe that the rookie Jordan Clarkson most needs to step up in Young’s absence.
Normally, Xavier Henry would be the easy answer to this question, but with him unable to practice to this point and having no timetable for a return, the burden falls on the rookie second-round pick.
Clarkson is the person best equipped to get his own shot on offense, while also being able to defend well. He can create in the same way of Young, and with Henry gone, he very well may get the first chance to do so.
The Lakers will need many players to step up while Young is out, but Clarkson has the best skill set to step up and flourish in this role. If the Lakers plan on fulfilling the potential they have, it will be on Clarkson to keep things going while Young is hurt.
Lakers Practice: Kobe Bryant Reacts To Nick Young’s Injury