If only all of the Lakers’ Young guys could play well.
The Lakers’ 112-95 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at Staples Center represented something more significant than just a two-game winning streak. It also marked the first of presumably many times that D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson all scored at least 20 points in the same game. But that prolific play did not extend to Nick Young.
He started at small forward in place of an injured Kobe Bryant and Anthony Brown, went scoreless and missed all five of his shots in 23 minutes.
“He’s just not playing well,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said.
Scott repeated that phrase more than once perhaps because Young has played that way more than once.
In the past five games, Young has averaged 5.8 points on a 21.8 percent clip from the field. Even with scoring 13 points on a 3-of-8 clip on Sunday against Golden State, Young collected five early fouls. In last week’s loss to Denver, Young also airballed a 3-pointer before going on a late scoring tear that ended with an eight-point effort on a 2-of-5 clip. Against Orlando, Young sat out the entire fourth quarter in favor of seldom-used Ryan Kelly at his unnatural position at the small forward spot, a move that Scott said allowed the team to switch more because of Kelly’s 6’11 frame..
“Is it more than not making shots? Well, I think that’s the extent of it,” Scott said. “He’s just not making shots on a consistent basis.”