When Nick Young was moved to the bench in favor of Xavier Henry, he stated his claim of wanting to win the Sixth Man Of The Year Award. Now, it looks like that dream will be short-lived as Young is slated to be back in the starting lineup in place of Xavier Henry, according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News
Mike D’Antoni told me in hallway that Nick Young is starting. Wouldn’t explain why, but Young & Henry both confirmed of lineup switch
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 8, 2013
The matchup against the Rockets is a difficult one for the Lakers as James Harden and Chandler Parsons form one of the best wing tandems in the NBA and the Rockets are the fourth highest-scoring team in the league at over 109 points per game.
Henry’s play has tailed off a bit since his insertion into the starting lineup, while Young began to catch fire the past two games. With the starting lineup continuing to get off to slow starts, this could be D’Antoni’s way of attempting to breathe some life back in the starters, especially when facing such a high scoring offense.
This could also be a defensive move as neither Blake nor Henry would be well suited to guard Harden, one of the best scorers in the NBA. D’Antoni could believe that Young presents the best defensive matchup for Harden and is looking to slow down the All-Star guard.
D’Antoni is continuing to tinker with his lineups and until he finds the right combination of starting and bench production, we should expect changes like this on a game-by-game basis.