Wizards Report Card: Nick Young

It seems appropriate to discuss Nick Young's season after his 23-point performance in last night's win over Charlotte because it offered a taste of what kind of talent the second-year guard has. Still, those nights have been too sporadic and his game too inconsistent to really have a read on where he's going as a pro.

Nick is averaging 10.9 points on 44 percent shooting with 1.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 22.3 minutes. Last season, as a rookie, he averaged 7.5 points on 43.9 percent shooting with 0.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 15.4 minutes so statistically, his improvement has been slight though he's having a nice little push here towards the end of the season offensively. (In the last 10 games, he's averaging 13.2 points on 45 percent shooting with 1.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds).

Defensively, I see the same guy: Someone who has the long arms, quickness and overall athletic ability to be a good defender and sometimes does a solid job individually but also a guy who gets stuck on screens way too often and often looks totally lost in the team defensive set.

One sequence from last night's game perfectly illustrated where Nick is as a pro right now: During the second quarter, Javaris Crittenton lofted a beautiful alley-oop pass to the rim and Young rose up and threw down a spectacular dunk. On the very next defensive possession, Raja Bell walked Nick down into a screen, lost him and then buried a 21-foot jumper before he could recover.

Like a lot of the young Wiz, Young is capable of the special play but still learning to make the basic one.

Another thing about Nick that concerns me is his up-and-down nature mentally. If he hits his first shot or two, he gets sky high rolls from there. If he misses or makes a mistake, he tends to go in the tank. That will have to change for him to be a consistent player at this level because the competition is simply too good and the opponents too mentally tough.

The questions boil down to: Can Nick be a consistent scorer for a veteran team like next season's Wizards (assuming Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Haywood and Stevenson all return healthy and ready to roll)? Or, is he just a role guy a coach throws into a game to see if he can get hot and provide some juice?

In terms of work ethic, Nick unquestionably loves the game. He's always on the court before and after practice playing games of one-on-one, throwing down dunks etc. But will he ever be a guy who pores over the scouting report, learns the tendencies of his opponent and really becomes a student of the game? Will he be just a one-dimensional player who can score? Or will be grow as a passer and all-around playmaker?

The jury is out on those questions, but he is still young and has time. It's going to be a big summer for Nick.

I'll give him a C for the season.

By Ivan Carter |  March 26, 2009; 12:03 PM ET Wizards Report Card
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

As you've heard from others, we'll miss you Ivan. Post readers need this kind of honest backstage look at their team, day-to-day, and, while the cosmic view of the league and pro basketball as a whole is fine, it's not what local readers need to have. So, I for one hope the plan is to give us the micro view of the Wiz rather than macro of the whole NBA empire. We can get the latter from any number of sources, but the focus on the Wizards is a hometown job.

Posted by: joe2chase | March 26, 2009 12:14 PM

RE: Arenas
Judging by the notes Ivan had (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/03/arenas_update_3.html), Arenas will not be playing any back-to-back games and will only play 2 road games. By my count, that leaves 5 games he'll be playing in.

If he's not healthy enough that this team (or he) has to take precautions, is he really healthy enough to go?

Throughout the season, I was pushing for him to play, but over the last 4 weeks, it just doesn't make any sense, given Tapscott's subbing patterns, lottery fight, etc. The only reason I think is legitimate is the lack of bodies, as only 8 guys played last night.

I'm not saying that he could get re-injured, as many have pointed out that he could re-injure himself getting out a car. My argument is, other than providing a 9th body (or 10th if Butler is back), what is the benefit? Don't think he can get in an all-star groove after so much time off and so little games to play, followed by a long off-season.

He'll basically have to restart from scratch once training camp is over...

Posted by: -CN- | March 26, 2009 12:21 PM

"In the last 10 games, Nick Young is averaging 13.2 points on 45 percent shooting with 1.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds"

Nick Young is a bust! Nick Young sucks! Where are you retards now?????

Posted by: Barno1 | March 26, 2009 12:38 PM

I think Young will thrive (I mean all-star thrive) whenever he becomes a full time starter. Like lots of other young players coming off the bench, he has a CBA-type attitude that he has to do something and fast to get noticed. Wizards have problems, but Mr. Young isn't one of them.

Posted by: shoveit | March 26, 2009 12:42 PM

When he's hot he's hot.
When he's not he's not.

He did get a nice block at the end of the game last night.

Posted by: VBFan | March 26, 2009 1:09 PM

Trade Nick Young.

Show me the list of very good (not even great) NBA players who were indifferent about getting punked so regularly on defense. We have enough players on this team who put up big numbers but don't take pride in stopping anyone. NY is one of the few players on this team who doesn't have an albatross for a contract. Get it done.

Posted by: bryc3 | March 26, 2009 1:16 PM

Nick Young can score. When he's on. What role does he play if he's not? He doesn't play defense, rebound, pass, or make smart plays for the most part...but you think giving him starters minutes would make him an all-star? He is a black hole...once he gets the ball expect some fancy dribbling and a pull up or fadeaway. He has a world of talent...but until he realizes that talent and athleticism isn't enough to get by anymore...he'll never be much more than he is now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 26, 2009 1:29 PM

My concern about NY is that he'll never be a consistent offensive threat b/c his shooting mechanics are so erratic. He fades away to varying degrees on every jump shot, contested or open. His success is based entirely on feel, and sometimes he's got it.

The other thing that drives me crazy, is that he doesn't like to appear like he's exerting any effort. He moves slowly without the ball and doesn't fight on D.

In the end, I have serious doubts about his future impact here, which is a shame b/c I really liked him coming out of USC, and he's got all the physical tools to succeed.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | March 26, 2009 1:32 PM

Nick sucks.

We have enough guys who are inconsistent on this club, trade him while you can EG.

The Wiz could really use someone like Roger Mason right now. Oh that's right they had him and let him go hoping Young would get better and he hasn't.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 26, 2009 1:40 PM

Would that Nick Young were as consistently diligent and devoted to his work with the Wizards as Ivan Carter has been to his work on the Wizards' beat...

I have enjoyed watching Nick when he is on an offensive roll, but like many of the rest of you I have agonized over how little effort he applies to the essential scut work of his profession... playing team defense, diving for loose balls, passing to the open man....

Management will have close calls to make with both Nick and Andray Blatche this summer, as trading one or both them may be the price that must be paid for being able to unload Etan Thomas and Mike James. I would surely prefer that we could keep them both for another year, but I am concerned that this will not be possible ... and can only hope that we can get real value in return if this is the case.

Posted by: khrabb | March 26, 2009 1:46 PM

Nick isn't getting the minutes he needs to show the improvement that some expect. Right now he's strictly a streak shooter. If we had a real coach, we could find out whether there's more to his game. As it is, we don't and we won't.

Posted by: original_mark | March 26, 2009 1:47 PM

With a team like the wizards any young player with talent has a chance to shine. If he doesn't, he likely won't ever he anymore than a role player. What have Young, Maghee, Blatche, Mcguire and Pesh shown us on a consistent basis? We say that they're not given enough playing time which may be true. But stars like Lebron, Kobe etc. were so good that they got pt from the start because the coach couldn't do otherwise. I hope I'm wrong but it doesn't seem that the wizards have that young franchise player on their roster right now.

Posted by: browneri | March 26, 2009 1:48 PM

Nick Young is playing well of late. Hopefully he will take the last few weeks as learning experience and try to improve in other areas of his game. We'll see how he recovers after a tough night and how he improves after a great night. I think a grade of a 'C' is good. I don't think anyone on the team can earn a higher grade than a 'C' with the exception of Jamison. He'll be the only player on the Wizards team who deserves an 'A' he's started in all of the games avg close to double doubles every night and has not given up despite the team struggles. Jamison is the type of player who can start on any squad because of his hard work.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 26, 2009 1:49 PM

In my opionion, Nick Young rates a C+.

Nick Young provides an additional scoring option for the scoring-challenged Wizards. Nick is only 23 years old and is still growing into his body. When he fills out, he could have a physique similar to Paul Pierce. As you indicated, if Nick becomes a student of the game, he could become an all around playmaker. If Young puts his mind to it [and I think he will], the Wizards will be set at the 2-guard position for years to come.

Next season, the Wizards will have their full complement of players. The starting five should be point guard, Gilbert Arenas; shooting guard, Nick Young; small forward, Caron Butler; power forward, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood at center.

That's a lineup that's not only competitive with any team in the Southeast Division, it matches up well with any team in the Eastern Conference.

Posted by: musicmanjr | March 26, 2009 1:58 PM

Shoveit, I agree with you 100%. The whole freaking team doesn't know how to play defense so stop singling out Nick. The team defensive scheme is atrocious. Can't wait for a coach who knows what the hell he is doing. (play Jamison and Butler 40+ minutes every night and run ALL the offense through them is all Tapscott knows). Consistently having to run out to wide open 3-point shooters every night is beyond me. Everyone knows Jamison doesn't play any D, yet he's always the one critical of the young players. Where's his "veteran" leadership in this area of his game? He has thrived in the NBA as a scorer. Period. That's the reason Dallas brought him off the bench as a 6th man. The Wiz have trouble scoring at the 2 and from 3-point range. Why not let Nick start next year along side of Arenas to open up the offense.

Posted by: garrybrown | March 26, 2009 2:03 PM

I like NY and think he has tons of potential, same with Blatche, but I think looking at them is like a microcosm of the entire NBA right now. So many of the top draft picks are high on talent and natural ability but lack fundamentals. Those four years of college help players really learn to play the game. It's a risk teams have to take in today's game. Hopefully they'll develop enough court savvy to go along eith the talent, then you might end up with a special player.

Posted by: drfunknsoul | March 26, 2009 2:04 PM

Anxious to see what AB's grade looks like, now that he's been mentioned. Getting rid of either one of these guys would be a huge mistake...much worse than Roger Mason.

Posted by: original_mark | March 26, 2009 2:07 PM

IMO a C+ grade seems appropriate. Agree about the confidence/streakyness. His D still suck buts it is better than it was last year so there is improvement. Its really up to NY's brain if he can mature a bit and dedicate himself to the obvious NBA skills he doesn't have yet.

I still like NY's potential for some offense off the bench if he can continues improving/working on his D this off season.

Posted by: usiel3 | March 26, 2009 2:12 PM

browneri, how many Kobes or Lebrons are out there? Not many teams have a franchise player at 20 yrs old, but the players you mentioned have enough talent to be on an NBA squad and be productive. The Wizards have never let talent develop here. They always do on other teams, i.e Hamilton, R. Wallace, B. wallace, Webber, Blake, etc. With the right coach.......

Posted by: garrybrown | March 26, 2009 2:14 PM


Jamison was a backup but won the 6th man of the year award for his effort. And the Mavs were foolish to think that Antwan Walker was more talented than Jamison (and the last time I checked, Walker hates playing defense and doesn't like rebounding either).

Posted by: rcnasa | March 26, 2009 2:14 PM

Also, Jamison is a competitive player. Nobody argues when players like Lebron, Kobe, Howard etc yell at young players. Heck we can even do other sports. in football players yell at one another on the field, it's an emotional game and if a player's feelings gets hurt because a veteran player points to them about a missing assignment then those players need to do better. Once that playing becomes established in the NBA then, they do the same thing.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 26, 2009 2:22 PM

C seems just about right. Not great, not terrible. Does just enough to pass the course but doesn't put in the extra effort to excel even though he clearly has the ability.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2009 2:22 PM

Is everyone but Jamison and Caron going to get a "C"?

Posted by: Chad32 | March 26, 2009 2:44 PM

Nick Young's game last night was a departure from any other "hot" games he's had so far in his career. Normally when you see Young with a high scoring total, it's because he got hot with his jumpshot and due to his fadeaway release, it's nearly impossible to stop. Last night was different. He attacked the basket in a number of different manners -- getting dunks, using his midrange jumper, taking running jumpers, taking spot-up shots from assists, drawing fouls, getting out in transition, etc. It was a total arsenal of shots, not just Nick playing 1-on-1 and settling for a fadeaway. I'm not sure I've ever seen a complete offensive performance from Nick like he had yesterday -- let alone his defensive improvement for the game.

At the very least, this type of performance increases his trade value. It's very tempting to say "he's our guy" after watching a performance like that, but if the team is in a quandary with the salary cap and the top draft pick come this offseason, my vote is still to move NY with a contract as the first option.

Posted by: psps23 | March 26, 2009 2:50 PM

Isn't it obvious that any young player coming into the league has both "mental" and "physical" issues to address?

Why does the Post spend so much time discussing the young players issues, and so little time on the availability, plans and performance of the coaches to help the young players address their particular issues?

Isn't it astonishing that the last year's Director for Player Development was made the coach this year in a non-playoff year - and very little progress on player development occurred?

Does EG agreed with ET's philosophy to put and keep the best players on the floor and run everything through them? Is there any historical support or publications that support such an approach to coaching?

Are the Wiz doomed to continue making the same mistakes - over and over and over?

Posted by: Izman | March 26, 2009 2:59 PM

Hate to say it, but if Nick Young was going to become a special player we would have seen it this season. Nothing to lose, plenty of opportunities, a chance to prove yourself. Any good young player worth his salt would have thrived in that situation. But Young isn't the only "bust." Pecherov, Crittendon, McGuire, James and, yes, Stevenson should all be jettisoned.

Posted by: manwray | March 26, 2009 3:01 PM

I don't think NY will ever be a marquee player. He is a "flash in the pan." He doesn't understand the game of basketball. I've watched him play for two seasons and I am convinced that he is what old school players call a "streak player." When he gets going he is virtually unstoppable. But therein lies the rub - he is too emotionally attached to his play. If he is ever going to transition to a consistent player then he has to learn to strike a balance in his emotional outlook of the game. Only a few players are capable of finding that balance that allows consistency of Play. I would like to see him score consistently within the offensive sets instead of going one on one to make his own shot. The Wiz have enough of these types of players i.e. Gilbert Arenas, AJ. If I was Grunfeld, I would package NY up to clear salary cap space and prepare for the draft. Holding on to NY will be a big mistake and would limit the Wiz's chances of becoming serious playoff contenders.

Posted by: CoolDunk53 | March 26, 2009 3:04 PM

His grade is on par but the critical part of the analysis will ccur when the team brings on a professional staff and a real coach. The offensive and defensive schemes that this squad utilized were horrific and the meritocracy standard in this organization has been part and parcel of the player development issue that is obvious. Young guys don't improve when the vets doin't set the standard with respect to playing defense or sharing the ball.

In a year where after the first 40 games there was nothing to lose, Nick clearly should have starting to assess just what type of player he is or will become. The reason the question mark is there is because the guy has not been given a fair unbiased opportunity to show if he is a straating 2 guard in this league. We do know that DeShawn Stephenson is not.

To expect consistency when the expectations and the playing time doled out from the coach is erratic and irrational is not a fair assupmtion. The reason players go up and down with mistatkes is because they know they are going to the bench. If this standard was applied to DeShawn Stephenson he would be in the NBDL after the first 15 games. He was terrible and was given ample chances to improve his play. This season represents a lost opportunity when the organization really could have gaughed what type of young talent it has. But instead we have a 17 win team playing washed up veterans so that they can try to win 20 games.

The troubling part is none of the key guys improved throughout the year (Dom McGuire plaayed well but would be a role guy on a qualiity team, which is as much a testament to the terrible coaching staff as the individual players.

Posted by: NewManagement | March 26, 2009 3:04 PM

Playing time can effect the results and outcomes of a players efforts (the more a guy plays the better his chances of putting up big numbers) but they shouldn't effect the type and level of effort he pus out.

How, exactly, does the so-called fluctuation in Young's PT act as a direct cause of him settling for lazy fadeaway jumpers, not attacking the basket, ignoring open teammates in favor of a rushed shot with time on the shot clock, not running back on defense in transition, or jumping into the air to pass and throwing the ball out of bounds or to the other team?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2009 3:12 PM


What you are describing is symbolic of the entire sqaud even the vets who do play with impunity. No one on this team attacks the rim and fadeaway jump shots and oneonone isolations are the staple of Butler, Jamison and James games.

My point is to judge players based in isoltaed snippets of time under a play perfect scenario is unfair. Typically, if you dedicate a certain length of time to a player their performance improves and they play steadier more secure basketball. Thats been one of the primary reasons McGuire has played well even though he is not asked or is capable of contributing offensively. It is indisputeable that this team has done a poor job of managing and developing their key young players and they must own the lions share of the blame. If Young was the starter for a 7-10 game stretch, under no pressure (either perceived or real) to perform spectacularly, then the organization would have a better grasp on his talent and potential going forward.

Posted by: NewManagement | March 26, 2009 3:51 PM

accountability. thats what the team lacks. guys don't have to answer for not playing defense to their teammates. N. Young is a player. For a second year guy he's shown some things. He is still maturing as an adult and ball player... anyone who thinks this guy being what 22(?) is some sort of chump or bust just doesn't know much about basketball. it's too early to say when he will "get it" but at his low salary and high talent level you'd be an imbocile to give up on him.

Posted by: unkonchus | March 26, 2009 3:56 PM

My hope is that Nick Young will develop the same affinity for going hard to the hole, playing D and avoiding turnovers that he now has for his fadeaway J.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | March 26, 2009 4:08 PM

Nick has to be considered a bright spot this year Ivan. Here are a few things you forgot to mention:

He's played in every game this season. The non-stop losing is gonna mess with any vet's head not to mention a young guy. Kudos to Nick for not complaining about playing time, injuries or playing coulda shoulda with the media. The kid's a goofball but he's been a pro IMO.

He supplements his scoring from the line when his shot is off.

He's the only player on this team who can create off the dribble and finish ABOVE the rim. We've got forwards who love to finger roll (Blatche, Jamison). NY will flush it down in a minute.

Frankly, I think his defense has come light years since training camp. He still needs to sit down this summer and watch a Kerry Kittles defensive hilight reel but the tools exist to average one and a half steals a game which will improve his PPG and FG %.

There's been nothing average about his performance this season. I give Young a solid B.

Posted by: elfreako | March 26, 2009 4:21 PM

Considering the grade Juan Dixon received -- NYoung should be upset. He played much, much better than Juan Dixon did this year.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 26, 2009 4:33 PM

"Another thing about Nick that concerns me is his up-and-down nature mentally. If he hits his first shot or two, he gets sky high rolls from there. If he misses or makes a mistake, he tends to go in the tank"

hey retard ivan...it's cause nick knows he will get pulled my idiot tapscott. Same with javale. They are always looking over their shoulders.



Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | March 26, 2009 4:49 PM

"What you are describing is symbolic of the entire sqaud even the vets who do play with impunity. No one on this team attacks the rim and fadeaway jump shots and oneonone isolations are the staple of Butler, Jamison and James games."

The difference between those guys and Young is that they don't have the kind of quickness, athleticism, and explosion of the dribble that Young does. They don't attack the rim consistently because they don't have those physical tools. Young does, but he too often settles for taking the easy way out.

"My point is to judge players based in isoltaed snippets of time under a play perfect scenario is unfair. "

Which is exactly what his boosters are doing, by focusing on the handful of games (like the Bobcats game) when he puts it all together and screaming about how maligned he is by criticism, while ignoring the majority of games where he doesn't.

I'm not judging him in isolation. I'm taking a full account of his season and his skills and capabilities. Based on that, he's a serious under-performer, given his potential.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2009 5:05 PM

"If Young was the starter for a 7-10 game stretch, under no pressure (either perceived or real) to perform spectacularly, then the organization would have a better grasp on his talent and potential going forward."

No one is asking him top perform "spectacularly." In fact, that's part of his problem; he seems to value style too much over substance. As for not being "under pressure" . . . he's not under any more pressure than anyone else on this team. Every guy who steps on the floor is under pressure to perform. Why should Young get a pass on that?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2009 5:08 PM

Since AJ and CB were allstar caliber players when they shared the court with Gil, should opinions regarding how good NY can be be reserved until he's has a chance to look at wide open shots and lanes that will be there once Gil back.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 26, 2009 5:30 PM

"Since AJ and CB were allstar caliber players when they shared the court with Gil"

They were also all-stars last year without him (although Butler didn't actually play in the game). And given Young's obvious ability to create offense, there's no reason that he should be judged based on what he does with Arenas on the floor. If anything, he (if he ever starts playing uo to his talent level) should be the guy who takes over the offense when Arenas is on the bench.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2009 7:35 PM

Folks are being hard on NY. He's 23, in his 2nd year, makes $1.6MM, and scores a point ev. 2 minutes (that's 20 PPG if he averages 40 min). That being said, a C is about right, or perhaps an Incomplete because doofus Tap didn't play him enough. 3P% went from 40% to 34% - is he really working hard on his game? His D stinks, and based on reports it sounds like he's very immature. Next year is a make or break year for NY, if you ask me.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | March 26, 2009 7:55 PM

I think you have to give Young - and most players on this team for that matter - a 'D'. They are tied for being the second worst club in the NBA. A 'C' for these players suggests a .500 ball club, when this team is winning closer to .200. Young has been symptomatic of many of the problems which have plagued the Wiz: an inability to move the ball creatively; too great a reliance on hard-to-O-rebound jumpers; poor defensive effort; a lack of mental toughness, pride, confidence, effort and balance; the demeanor and heart of a kid rather than a warrior (see also Blatche). Good, even average NBA players make the most of their opportunities. Not all may have Young's talent, but they certainly do not rely on the coach to have 'confidence' in them or get disheartened when they're pulled. The only thing Young has proven is that he can score when he's hot. Even then, he tends to hog the ball, resorting to a pick-up game mentality. With the lovable, goofy and immature Arenas as his mentor, it is unlikely that he will become a tough, dedicated player overnight. From what I've read, he is also extremely immature in the locker room, possibly setting a poor example for the young players and undermining the atmosphere of professionalism. He is young still, but good players should at least show heart, dedication and better study habits at the end of their sophomore NBA year. His talent is tantalizing enough to insure that he plays in the league for another 5 years, but I am not convinced this team should give him that much leeway.

Posted by: SammyT1 | March 26, 2009 8:02 PM

Nick Young should develop into a really good player as he gets more experience. This season is lost so why not give our young players more playing time. Tabscott gives McGuire heavy minutes and watches him throw those lazy passes that are stolen on a regular basis. McGuire did his best to give the game away last night against the Bobcats but he stays in the game. Why not give McGee, Young,and Pecherov more minutes along with Blanche.

Posted by: mdondon300 | March 26, 2009 8:50 PM

The problem with Nick Young being on this roster is he is not going to get the playing time he needs to show improvement. Players are going to have to be moved and maybe contracts swallowed to set him up with more playing time and I don't see the Wizards showing that kind of faith in him at this point. Right now Arenas,James,and Stevenson are ahead of Young in the pecking order rightly or wrongly that is the way it is. Personally I don't feel either James or Stevenson belong on this team if they want to move forward but that is not my call.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | March 27, 2009 12:32 AM

"C seems just about right. Not great, not terrible. Does just enough to pass the course but doesn't put in the extra effort to excel even though he clearly has the ability.
Posted by: kalo_rama"

The word 'underachiever' comes to mind.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 27, 2009 6:37 AM

newmanagement: "Thats been one of the primary reasons McGuire has played well even though he is not asked or is capable of contributing offensively. It is indisputeable that this team has done a poor job of managing and developing their key young players and they must own the lions share of the blame."

Let me just turn that around for a moment, and suggest that McGuire has played more than the others because he's better than they are. More limited, but better.

And let me also suggest (not assert, suggest) that the young players must be held accountable for their own performance, rather than focusing on what the team and the coaches did or didn't do.

And finally, let me suggest that if the young players act as if it's their responsibility to work hard and gain more playing time based on the quality of their play, they'll be better for the effort.

Maybe it's that attitude that we lost when Roger Mason left.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 27, 2009 6:45 AM

Does anybody on that team play defense?
Have to see another year before i call him a bust.
The team has become dysfuntional with no hussle.

Posted by: shamken | March 27, 2009 7:35 AM

For me, Young is a B this season. Yes he still makes mistakes but tell me who in the team doesn't. Even the much praised McGuire has been known to make costly errors late in the game.

"Young does, but he too often settles for taking the easy way out."

It's easy for us non players to say that a player should drive more often. Even Kobe and LeBron who are thousand of miles better than NY settles for fadeaway and jump shots in a game. When you're in the court and you see a 7 foot 250+ pound guys inside I bet you'll settle for jump shot as well. There are LOTS of NBA players that have been critized of this and not only NY.

"Based on that, he's a serious under-performer, given his potential."

What potential are we talking about? If you're asking for him to ave. 20+ ppg (that's a borderline allstar already) then you'll be disappointed. But if you think he can ave 15 ppg then he's almost there.

Posted by: Dave381 | March 27, 2009 11:24 AM

I agree, to an extent, with Ivan's grade for Nick, but let's be real. He gets very inconsistent mins under the current coach, and apparently very little positive encouragement, "make a mistake and you'll out of there and I will be sure to tell the media about the boneheaded play you made, just in case they did not see it." How's that for a method to build confidence in a young player? Especially, when vets make mistakes, and he doesn't do that. Can we say double standard?

A "C" grade is fair, given that he does not take his career and rounding out his game to really utilize his talent seriously, but with better coaching and consistent mins, I think you would see more consistent offense. On the defensive side, he's quick enough and has the physical tools to do it, but he doesn't. However, can't we say the same thing about CB, AJ, and definitely GA? I know Nick is not the player that those three are, All Stars, but the kid is 21..c'mon folks? I have stated on here a number of times, don't forget about all of those players that we gave up on and traded or allowed to sign elsewhere. Many of them went on to be good players, several have won championships! Let's invest the time in these guys to make a fair assessment. that includes hiring a good coach who has developed young (no pun intended) talent. Our history of making good decisions and developing young players is not good, and history should teach us a few lessons about this.


Posted by: faninAlex | March 27, 2009 11:29 AM

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