After losing two straight games to the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to get back on track against the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Sunday with one big change in the starting lineup.
Apparently, head coach Mike D’Antoni believed the Lakers would be better suited with Nick Young coming off the bench and Xavier Henry in the starting lineup. As a result of the change, the Lakers were solid throughout the game on both ends of the floor and Young seems to be inspired to strive for a new goal via our Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Someone brought up 6th man of the Year to Nick Young, all smiles, he said “That’s my goal”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 4, 2013
In the first three games of the season, Young struggled to find his rhythm as a starter under D’Antoni. Young was coming off a limited outing against the Spurs only playing 18 minutes.
It became clear after the loss to the Spurs that D’Antoni would likely mix things up in order to use Young the right way. Coming off the bench seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the USC alum as he excelled in the reserve role.
In 21 minutes off the bench, Young scored 13 points on 5-for-9 from the field. Young also added four assists to his stats while proving to be a force in the second unit.
As for Henry, the 22-year-old came into his own as the starter scoring a team-high 18 points in 26 minutes on the floor.
After the win over the Hawks, it would be safe to say that D’Antoni will stick with Henry as the starter while keeping Young as his offensive weapon off the bench. It’ll be interesting to see if this rotation continues to work on the three-game road trip.
VIDEO: Check Out What Mike D’Antoni Had To Say After The Win