Lakers Nation Debate: Nick Young’s Role When He Returns
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Topic: We wonder whether Nick Young should start or remain as the team’s sixth man upon his return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Context: The Lakers have been one of the NBA’s worst teams in the beginning of this season. At 1-8, the Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference, and second-worst in the NBA.

One issue with the team has been the lack of a consistent second scoring option. Though Carlos Boozer has played well recently, he, Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson have all been up and down this season. But help is on the way in the form of Nick Young.

Young is set to make his return to the Lakers in Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. He was the team’s leading scorer last season and will give the Lakers someone capable of getting his own shot. Just as important, he is aggressive in doing so and is far less likely to stare as Kobe Bryant tries to score, something that has been far to common amongst the Lakers this year.

The question now becomes whether Young should start or come off the bench. Young thrived in the bench role last season, giving the team a huge scoring punch as the first option with the bench unit. Having said that, the small forward position has not been a strength for the Lakers.

Wesley Johnson is averaging only eight points and three rebounds and has the lowest PER of every Lakers rotation player. His impact on defense has been minimal as well leading some to wonder if it wouldn’t be better if Young’s scoring abilities were in the starting lineup.

Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask the loyal Lakers Nation followers if Nick Young should start, or be the sixth man when he returns. These are some of the responses:

The fans were relatively split on this topic with many believing he should remain as the sixth man while others prefer him to start. Overall, it looked as if the fans were leaning slightly towards Young as the sixth man and I agree with the fans in this case.

Wesley Johnson has struggled without a doubt so far, but more often than not, the scoring problems with the Lakers haven’t been with the starters, but rather when the bench starts to come in. Ronnie Price, Jordan Clarkson and Ed Davis have not proven to be shot creators and Young could open things up for all of them.

Whether or not Johnson will ever be the player that many want him to be is up in the air, but Young’s presence will give the Lakers another offensive option on the wing. Starting isn’t important and I believe Young should start on the bench, but finish on the floor — that will help the Lakers more than anything.


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