Newcomer Nick Young led the way for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night with a team-high 19 points. Although Young was a welcome offensive jolt off the bench along with Xavier Henry (17 points), the Lakers still fell short in Kobe Bryant’s season debut with the team.
After the loss to Toronto, Young spoke with Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters about playing alongside Bryant and how different it can be:
“Sometimes you can catch yourself watching him while you’re out there on the floor…We can’t just defer to him every time.”
In his season debut, Bryant scored only nine points in a subpar performance against the team that he lit up for a career-high 81 points back in 2006.
As for the rest of the starters, no one scored in double figures with Pau Gasol coming the closest outside of Bryant. Gasol scored seven points in arguably one of his worst games of the season thus far. The three other starters didn’t do much better with Steve Blake finishing with three points and four assists while Robert Sacre chipped in with two points in only 10 minutes on the floor.
With Bryant returning and demanding the ball as much as he does, Young and Henry will have to learn how to play alongside the five-time NBA champion in order to coexist on the floor at the same time.
At this point in time, the two newcomers have been some of D’Antoni’s best offensive weapons either in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. Both players will go through an adjustment period along with the rest of the team in order to learn how to play with Bryant moving forward.
Lakers vs Raptors: Kobe Bryant, “I’m Still Not Sure Exactly What I Can Do,” Felt Weird (Part 1)