One of the highlights of last season for the Los Angeles Lakers was Xavier Henry’s thunderous dunk over Jeff Withey of the New Orleans Pelicans. Henry would rely on that athleticism in route to averaging career highs in nearly every offensive category, but injuries were an issue as he played only 43 games.
Persistent knee issues have limited Henry so far this season and according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Byron Scott believes Henry may not get that athleticism back:
He’s not that explosive guy he used to be,” Scott said. “I don’t know if that will come back or not.”
Scott noted that Henry’s style of play contributes to injuries as well, but Henry disagreed that he would need to adjust his game:
I don’t think I have to adjust my game,” said Henry, who appeared in his second D-League assignment on Saturday. “You can turn an ankle like this. For me, my strength is being able to go where I need to go using my power, speed and aggressiveness.”
So far this season, Henry is averaging only 2.2 points in less than 10 minutes per game and hasn’t looked at all like the potential difference maker he showed he could be last year. The Lakers have sent him down to the D-League for a couple of games and he looked much more like himself down there, averaging 26 points on 45.5 percent from the field in two games.
There have been rumors that Henry would be the player cut if the Lakers were to add a free agent, but it is rumored that there are no immediate moves on the horizon. If Henry truly has lost his athleticism, he will have to find a new way to be effective, and studying his teammate Kobe Bryant would be a wise move.[divide]
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