Spotlighting and Breaking Down LA Lakers’ SF Position

Small forward was a problem position for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013.

The Lakers' small forwards were outproduced by opposing threes, according to Only the Charlotte Bobcats gave up more points to opposing small forwards.

The only reason that the PER gap between L.A.'s crop of threes and their counterparts was so small was because Kobe Bryant was credited with playing a quarter of the Lakers' small forward minutes.

He had to play a lot at the 3 because the Purple and Gold only played one true small forward all year — Metta World Peace.

Known for his tough defense, World Peace still put in effort on that side of the floor, but his lock-down capabilities had long since disappeared. He allowed opposing threes to post a PER of 15.0 while sporting a putrid 11.7 PER himself when he lined up at small forward, per 82games.

In related news, World Peace was waived via the Lakers' amnesty provision this summer.

Replacing him on the depth chart will be Nick Young and Wesley Johnson, both of whom signed as free agents over the offseason

Let's break down how the new guys will fare in 2014.


Nick Young

If I were picking a team to play a game of pick-up basketball, Nick Young would probably be my first selection among "non-star" players.

The man straight up gets buckets.

But the NBA isn't the Drew League (where Young is affectionately known as "I Am Legend" because, of course).

Playing structured, organized team basketball is about more than just getting yours. That's what holds Swaggy P back as an NBA player.

He posted the best assist rate of his career in 2013—probably because he was forced into a surprising chunk of emergency point guard minutes for Philly last year—but still finished 45th out of 54 shooting guards, according to (minimum 15 min...

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