Nick Young was in great spirits after completing his first full practice with the Lakers on Saturday. The jokes were flying as he said he felt comfortable putting up shots and going through the motions for the first time since injuring his right thumb in October.
If all goes to plan, Young is expected to make his season debut on Tuesday when the Lakers face the Atlanta Hawks. Young was quick to share the news with his typical flair.
“The Defensive Player of the Year is here today and he’ll be here Tuesday,” Young said.
Saturday will be his only full practice before then as the Lakers plan is to have him go though shootaround on Sunday before traveling to Atlanta on Monday. The team will evaluate him Tuesday after shootaround and if he is cleared, he will be in uniform.
Young was anxious to be back on the floor as he said watching the team struggle on the court ate him up inside.
“I love the game and to see them struggle, I wanted to be out there with them. If we lose, we lose together,” he said.
As for that defensive player of the year talk, head coach Byron Scott’s main focus is to see Young improve his weakside defense. He feels Young is willing to show commitment to being a good on-ball defender but can work on rotating over to his man away from the ball.