The Lakers were shorthanded again and they ended up finding a way to win without their lead guard D’Angelo. It was another Laker game filled with inconsistent defense and another great bench performance to give them a pretty good lead around the midway point of the 4th quarter.
The game didn’t feature a huge performance from Russell Westbrook until the 4th quarter where he went full Brodie mode and scored 17. Up until then, Nick Young of all people was playing really good defense on Russell. Well, as good as it gets for someone defending Westbrook. He had good contest and was sliding his feet to stay in front of the superstar point guard.
This win was a true team win as it took all of the team to win this game to score and play some defense. Everyone has to step up and make plays on either ends of the floor. Randle had a tough game that was mostly due to his hip injury, but he was still able to contribute with some plays pushing the ball or making great pass. Mom did what he does, finish at the rim. Clarkson’s improves finishing looked much better than the last game where he struggled from the floor. Heck, even Ingram got it going on offense.
Even though it was the team effort that got the win, it was the swag that got the last laugh as he hit a tough shot from quite a distance from the 3 line. Not to mention he literally stole the ball from Lou:
“I stole the ball from Lou…….. I just felt like I wanted to take the shot, man. It felt good though, we worked hard tonight.”
The Nick Young transformation is very real. His defense is on another level (for Nick Young at least) and he is shooting at a rate that os really helping the team. His play up to this point has been one of the major reason for the Lakers 7-6 record. He is still the same old Swaggy P, taking some head-stretching shots. But hey, he can take them if he can make them. Let’s just hope he can keep it up.
Better get into this film room before Russell Westbrook jumps on my back because OKC lost.
Really good defense from Nick here to not let Westbrook get past him. Russell has a killer first step that can torch even the best of defenders. Nick got a bit too aggressive and reached in to get the ball, but it was best to foul him to prevent an possible easy 2 points off a post up or even drive to the rim.
Young was getting ran over by Westbrook even before he got there. Man Westbrook really does what he wants. I’ve never seen someone fall without being touched. Sources say Westbrook is a good player
Another super good defensive possession for Nick Young who guarded Westbrook every minute he was on the court. He did a good job of staying on his feet and being disciplined. He kept his hands up and finished contested the shot really well to force the miss. He also used his body nicely to not simply get bullied by the freakishly strong Westbrook. Nick Young and defense and are a thing now. A real thing.
The swag was running all over Staples Center last night. When Young hit this shot, you kinda started to get the feeling that he wasn’t going to have a quiet night. Here the Lakers run the drive and backhanded pass play where Calderon runs across Nick Young and he gives him a dump-off pass. Then he shoots a really deep 3 with Oladipo closing out on him. Your typical spot up 3.
Here he stays disciplined again and forces him to drive into the baseline where all the brodie can do is pass it to Kanter. Sadly he still scores, but it is yet another example of Nick Young showing effort on the defensive end.
The Lakers here run the multiple handoff set that is followed by a screen and leads to drive from the last player to get to the handoff. Here Nick doesn’t step back to take a tough spot and instead keeps his head of steam to drive and draw the foul. This new mentality allows him to score even when his shot isn’t falling.
Great job of stopping the ball here by Nick. He holds his ground when Westbrook picks up his dribble by keeping his hands active and not allowing him a way to shoot. He then correctly goes under the screen as Russell isn’t a good shooter and then even boxes out Sabonis! His is simply breathtaking and I can’t believe I’m alive to watch Nick Young be a good basketball player.
Defenses should not sleep on Nick Young because he is a legit shooter. The defense here completely forgets abut Nick and he gets a wide-open step in 3 point shot. When he is feeling it, he is feeling it.
Here is another great closeout by Nick Young that led to a miss and a transition break. None of than Nick Young pushes the ball up, absorbs some contact and makes a tough shot. Should of been an And 1.
Nick Young is even a playmaker. He drove and then the defense reacted to him and he was to kick the ball out. Calderon then hit a pretty tough shot. Nick Young is even moving the ball now. Luke for coach of the year.
NICK YOUNG FOR ALL THE MARBLES
Another tough shot by Nick Young. Here Oladipo was all over him and then he went full swag mode to hit a step back mid range shot. When he is locked in and having fun playing basketball, Nick Young can be an effective player and a valuable asset.
Nick got his hand up. That’s all you can do when Westbrook goes unconscious.
Here is the final Lakers possession that would eventually result in a go-ahead basket. It appears as if they are going to run the handoff play. The Ingram gets the ball stuck in the corner so he drives and kicks it out to Lou Williams. Nick Young gets caught in the middle so he does what Swaggy P does best. Chuck it. With all the swag and ice coursing through his veins, Nick Young delivered a game winner that I’m sure Kobe approves of. Wherever he is.