Nick Young’s Return Won’t Save Los Angeles Lakers’ Bench Problem

The return of Nick Young to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup will provide a major offensive shot in the arm—but it won’t solve the bench problem.

Not with a roster stretched so impossibly thin, or on a team accelerating through a nosedive of tragic proportions.

Regardless, the 29-year-old swingman is finally on track to play, six weeks after tearing a thumb ligament in his shooting hand.

Per Joey Ramirez for, Young is anxious to help stop his team’s skid:

It’s tough because I love the game of basketball. Just seeing them go out there and struggle, I want to be a part of everything. If we’re gonna lose, we’ll all lose together. If we’re gonna win, we’ll win together.

But as Kurt Helin for ProBasketballTalk writes, it may be little more than increased entertainment for the fanbase:

The Lakers are hard to watch right now, we need reasons to tune in. A potential Swaggy P show is a good reason—if Kobe Bryant likes teammates who are fearless and will take the shot, he’ll love Young. How much he loves Young after he takes a couple shots when Kobe thinks he has a better one remains to be seen.

This is good news, the league is more fun to watch with Swaggy P in it.

As fun as Young's return may be, it won’t be enough to overcome the ineptitude of the Lakers’ bit players on whole.

Is the bench really all that bad? Yes, it is.

To put the epic terribleness into its proper perspective, let’s look at scoring production over four prior games.

On Nov. 16, while being blown out by the Golden State Warriors, Byron Scott emptied the folding chairs early, allowing his scrubs to amass 44 points—36 of which came in the final frame of garbage time.

By comparison, Kobe Bryant contributed 44 points all on his own during the f...

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