Are LA Lakers Fans Expecting Too Much from Wesley Johnson and Nick Young?

There are some Los Angeles Lakers fans who feel that the Lakers actually got better by losing center Dwight Howard in free agency, but to be realistic that only counts when it comes to chemistry.

A team doesn't lose the NBA's top rebounder and one of the league's top defensive players and get better, and while free-agent acquisitions Nick Young and Wesley Johnson do upgrade the Lakers' athleticism, does either player really make them better?

That might be a stretch.

Both Young and Johnson have skill sets that are distinctly suited for head coach Mike D'Antoni's offense, but to be honest that statement is only supported by each player's reputation as a three-point shooter.

Johnson and Young may be wonderful athletes, but unfortunately the depth of each player's game is confined by his ability to drain shots from beyond the three-point arc, and in Johnson's case I'm not even sure if the reputation is warranted.

Johnson was a pretty good three-point shooter at Syracuse, but he also displayed enough other skills like ball-handling, quickness and defensive potential to make analysts and fans think he could be good, or very good, as a pro.

So far Johnson has been neither. In fact you could argue that he's actually been pretty bad.

During Johnson's first three seasons, he averaged 7.7 points per game and shot 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from the three-point line.

So, there is nothing in Johnson's past as a pro that suggests he can be a consistent or efficient scorer, which may be a good thing, since general manager Mitch Kupchak envisions Johnson as a Trevor Ariza, Michael Cooper type of player anyway.


Comparing Johnson to Cooper borders on disrespectful, and even though Ariza may be in reach, what I've seen from Johnson says that he's still a long way out from even that point.

Cooper may hav...

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