Shootaround Report: Kent Bazemore Starting, Nick Young Returns
The Lakers are going for just their fourth win in the month of February when they take on the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night. Nick Young, who was the leading scorer when these teams last met in November, will be returning to the team after over two weeks on the shelf with a non-displaced patella fracture. This will be the second matchup between the two teams this season, with the Lakers winning the first matchup, 99-94 at the Barclays Center.
The Lakers are coming off a comeback win over their bitter rivals, the Boston Celtics on Friday night, which snapped a seven-game home losing streak. Sparked by the play of newcomers MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore, the team was able to erase a double-digit fourth quarter deficit and win the game handily. Mike D’Antoni, who loves athletic players that can spread the floor, is rewarding Bazemore for his play by giving him his first start as a Laker. Kobe Bryant is still sidelined for at least another three weeks, but Xavier Henry is close to a return.
The Nets struggled mightily before the calendar turned 2014, but have since gone 15-7 and placed themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The game will the be the second of a back-to-back for the Nets, who lost to the Golden State Warriors last night. Newly signed center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player to play for an NBA team, is expected to play.
The Lakers are clearly out of the playoff picture and the move of starting Bazemore shows the team is trying to evaluate the talent they have. The Nets will be looking to add a win against a struggling team to continue to climb the standings.
Lakers starters vs Nets: Marshall, Meeks, Bazemore, Johnson, Gasol. Nick Young makes return off the bench.
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) February 23, 2014
For a preview of tonight’s game click here.
Mike D'Antoni on Jason Collins playing w/ Brooklyn: "It’s great. It’s terrific. If he can help them as a basketball player, there you go"
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 23, 2014
For more on the Jason Collins story click here.
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