How Nick Young Must Raise His Game to Make Impact for LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are going to need Nick Young to play some of the best basketball of his career in order for the team to enjoy a successful 2013-14 season.

Young has always been an intriguing talent by virtue of his offensive skills, but the Purple and Gold will need him to take his game to new heights.

Before delving into the requirements Mike D’Antoni will have of the former Philadelphia 76er, we must take into account an important factor: Kobe Bryant’s health.

Bryant is recovering from offseason Achilles surgery, and the Lakers ownership group is hoping he will be ready by opening night. However, in the event the two-time Finals MVP is not ready to go, there will be a different set of expectations set on Young.

Thus, we will look at both scenarios.


Healthy Kobe Bryant on Opening Night

When glancing at the Lakers roster, it immediately sticks out that the team has no small forwards. Consequently, that means Kobe Bryant will likely start at this spot while Nick Young will operate as the 2-guard on the opening five-man unit.

Steve Nash and Bryant will assume most of the ball-handling duties, which means that Young will be in the lineup to put up points. The former University of South California Trojan loves to get shots up, as evidenced by his career 15.2 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes.

As a reference point, Tony Parker averages 15 shots per 36 minutes for his career. What is interesting about Young’s willingness to put the ball up is the slow pace at which most of his teams have played during his career.

Only the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Washington Wizards were amongst the top 10 fastest shooting teams in the league. Every other squad Young has played for operated at a fairly slow pace.

Historically, D’Antoni’s teams have been in the top five in this category, and Young will probably love it gi...

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