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Lakers Need Nick Young To Have A Big 2014-15 Season Reviewed by Momizat on . When Nick Young signed with the Los Angeles Lakers prior to last season, I had modest expectations. I expected him to be a streaky shooter, take some pressure o When Nick Young signed with the Los Angeles Lakers prior to last season, I had modest expectations. I expected him to be a streaky shooter, take some pressure o Rating: 0
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Lakers Need Nick Young To Have A Big 2014-15 Season

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When Nick Young signed with the Los Angeles Lakers prior to last season, I had modest expectations. I expected him to be a streaky shooter, take some pressure off of Kobe Bryant, and be a solid sixth man.

What actually transpired was far beyond that. Part of what happened was due to endless injuries for the Lakers, but nonetheless, Swaggy P emerged and became a star for the Lakers.

Swaggy P was goofy off the court, but his game was serious when he stepped between the baselines.

As the Lakers’ sixth man, Young actually led the Lakers in scoring with 17.9 points.

Obviously, the Lakers struggled mightily last season, but with Swaggy given free reign to score, he certainly delivered.

As mentioned, he averaged 17.9 points (his highest scoring average), but also held a PER of 16.0, which was also his highest since entering the league in 2007. Another career-high for Swaggy was his eFG% which was at 51.1 percent.

Not only that, but when Young came to the Lakers, he wanted to live up to his potential of being a star in this league — as his stock had fallen since his departure from Washington in 2012 — and he did.

He showed leadership. He contributed to his team every night. He led by example. And the charisma he displayed off the court translated to production on the court.

He became a fan favorite with his celebrations on the court being as popular as his quotes to the media.

All of that and most of his contributions came from off the bench.

That may change next season, however.

Last season, despite numerous injuries, the Lakers were able to have Young come off the bench for 55 of the 64 games he played.

In the nine games he started, he didn’t quite put up the same numbers as he did off the bench, as he averaged just 12.3 points — although he did have an eFG% of 68.5.

As the Lakers’ roster stands right now, Nick Young is arguably their second-best player behind Kobe Bryant.

He’s also one of the few players on the roster in his prime.

With Kobe Bryant getting older and coming off two serious injuries, Young is going to be asked to supplement some of what Kobe normally does, but probably won’t be able to do for 48 minutes every night. With the Lakers losing out on Carmelo Anthony in free agency and Pau Gasol leaving, Nick Young might be the guy asked to take on more responsibility and possibly even start ballgames.

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With Steve Nash’s health in question, Young has the opportunity to become a leader on the team as well.

Regardless of whether he starts or not, he’ll likely be asked to carry the scoring load and play more significant minutes compared to the 28.3 he averaged last season.

That shouldn’t be a problem.

However, Young will likely be matched up with and have to guard some of the tougher scorers in the league.

Similarly, we know he can get his shot off, but will he be able to make the correct passes and set up guys like Julius Randle, Carlos Boozer, and Jordan Hill off of pick-and-rolls and paint penetration?

Young averaged just 1.5 assists last season, and has never been known as a top defender.

At age 29, is he likely to drastically improve his overall game? Probably not, but there’s always room for improvement, especially when the pressure to deliver mounts higher and higher each night under the Hollywood lights.

Last season, there were limited expectations on Young coming into the season. However, he showed some of what he’s capable of and raised the bar and expectations for himself.

Next season, he’ll be depended upon to deliver every night, and will also be playing alongside Kobe Bryant, who we all know demands a lot from his teammates (Bryant only played six games last season).

At age 29, Young is coming off of his best season and is primed to build on that with an even bigger season in the biggest of markets. He even took less money once again to remain with the Lakers, which proves he truly does bleed purple and gold and is not only up for the challenge of the pressure, he’s embracing it.

If last year is any indication of how he’ll respond, I think Swaggy P will be just fine.

The Lakers certainly need him to be a star next season, and Nick Young has the opportunity to be just that.

Lakers Re-Sign Nick Swaggy P Young And Jordan Hill

About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 181
  • WAYNER

    Nick Young wear # 8

    The rebirth of the old Kobe <

    • laracraftmili

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    • Mr.Barboza

      Young is not even close to being a young kobe, be more serious please…

      • Tune

        It’s a joke, gain a sense of humor please.

        • Mr.Barboza

          you never know with people today, and if that was a joke, was I supposed to laugh? cause I didn’t and I usually laugh at almost anything…

          • Tune

            It’s a joke given their playstyle reputation of chucking shots and not passing.

          • Mr.Barboza

            Kobe Bryant is not even a PG and he has a career average of 5 assists per game and 25.5 ppg, and a 45 FG% while Nick Young has done what exactly? but ok i’ll laugh HA…HA great joke…

          • Tune

            Again, gain a sense of humor please. I don’t think you understand the definition of concept of a joke.

      • the_lorb

        First off, Nick Young isn’t even young. The guy is more than 9 years older than Julius Randle.

  • Badazztj12

    Having someone off the bench to give the team a spark is always good for a playoff team. Teams like Miami and the Spurs for example. Ray Allen led Miami bench. Manu led Spurs bench. Nick Young can/will be that guy for us

  • L4K3R5F4N

    Sixth Man of The Year!

  • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

    Let me summarize the article for you. Nick Young, in his prime and coming off the best season of his career, is an average NBA player at the offensive end of the floor, but he doesn’t defend or pass. He’s fun to watch, though, so we think he is a star who can lead our team to glory.

  • LegendInMyMind

    I don’t like Nick Young’s game. Taken off the leash, he’s a good scorer…on a REALLY bad team. That doesn’t impress me. He’s unintelligent on and off the court, and he’s limited in skills. He’s nothing but a jumpshot.

    Maybe I’d take him more seriously if his “contributions” (antics) hadn’t come during the SECOND WORST SEASON IN LAKERS FRANCHISE HISTORY, but I just don’t. On a better, more tightly coached team, he disappears into the bench like the nobody that he is.

    • the_lorb

      Spot on. He will be in Byron Scott’s doghouse at the very end of the rotation before the halfway point in the season due to not being able to perform within the system.

      He was allowed to take tons of shots in D’Antoni’s offense where even I could probably put up 2 points a game if given minutes. He also seemed perfectly fine losing games and acting like a clown while doing it.

      Giving him a 4 year mid-level type of deal was insane.

      • LegendInMyMind

        Everyone keeps defending that deal as “highly tradeable”, but I just see him as being incredibly overpaid, even at the mid level salary. He’s a vet minimum at best. No one’s gonna want that until 3 years in when he’s an expiring contract!

        • the_lorb

          And when 32 year old Nick Young has completely fallen out of the rotation and opts into that player option 4th year, it is all bad news.

          Expiring contracts aren’t as valuable with this new CBA. Draft picks and their cost controlled 4-5 year contracts are. Dude will be 30 next year while the NBA finals are being played. SMDH.

  • meep

    As long as young plays his game and the lakers play good team defense we can hide young weakness on defense.

  • KelliAFranklin

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  • wangkon936

    It’s not the matter of scoring. Nick can do that so there aren’t a lot of questions there. He needs to learn how to get his shots while helping the flow of the offense. He needs to learn how to play off the ball more (including no only defense, but also helping to set up his teammates, etc.)

    IMHO the key players that need to have big years for the Lakers are Lin, Randle and Henry. Less so Nick Young.

  • Dwayne

    Nick Young is overrated. Don ‘t get me wrong, I’m glad the Lakers hooked the guy up so he can stay a Laker because Nick Young is fun to watch. The Lakers need to rebuild, they are going to suck for a while. It’s one thing to have a team that isn’t a winner; its another thing to have a team that is BORING and not a winner. If I’m going to watch the Lakers suck this year, I’d rather watch them suck with Swaggy P “stylin and profilin”.

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  • LakerSpartan117

    He is a very good bench player and can be our sixth man. He’ll never be more than that, but we don’t need him to be. Every team has roles to be filled, and he fits that sparkplug of the bench role. He is our scorer of the bench, which every team needs, and is good at that. Great coaching can help him realize that he can do other things, but his sole purpose is to score off the bench. Don’t know why people are bashing him on this board, but I don’t know what else you can expect from him.

    We have so many young players who can contribute and fit into the roles we need them to. So Swaggy P, shoot the shit out of the ball when you come off the bench. Because that’s your job… and it’d be stupid to deprive you of what you are good at and force you to do something you’re not.

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