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Nick Young, difference maker?

With a roster of mostly young and inexperienced players, the second half of the season has been filled with "teachable moments" for Wizards Coach Flip Saunders. One of them came on Tuesday in Houston, where Nick Young got his first start since a Feb. 17 win over Minnesota.


Don't take me out of the game for this one, coach. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

It didn't take long for Young to get yanked.

In the first minute of the game, Andray Blatche stole the ball from Rockets center Chuck Hayes. Young picked up the ball and was off to the races. But he was going too fast for his own good. Young was out of control on his drive to the basket and lost the ball, which led to a fastbreak layup on the other end for Jermaine Taylor. After watching Young jog back in pursuit of Taylor, Saunders quickly called on Quinton Ross. The game was 44 seconds old.

It was the kind of play that has frustrated Saunders and his coaching staff for much of the season. Young, a third-year guard, was pulled at the next dead ball, but Saunders didn't send him to the bench as he usually does. Saunders just asked him a question.

"You want to play don't you?" Saunders said he told Young. "I told him, 'I don't care what you do on the offensive end, but you can't have those lapses and give away those easy buckets at the other end.' Our guys we have, it's going to be a constant teaching situation for all these guys. It's a process to teach, it's a process to learn."

Young sat down near the scorer's table and Saunders put Young back in the game at the next timeout. But Young was clearly out of the game for the rest of the night against the Rockets. He finished with just four points in 22 minutes.

The next night, Young was back in the starting lineup against the Hornets and finished with nine points in 36 minutes -- including a three-pointer that gave the Wizards a 13-point lead in the third quarter. The Wizards won the game, 96-91, which continued an interesting trend this season -- which was pointed out to me in an email from a reader.

The Wizards 6-2 this season when Young plays 30 or more minutes.

Come again? Yes. Young has received 30 or more minutes eight times, and the Wizards (22-52) have emerged victorious six times (the two losses came against Cleveland on the night Gilbert Arenas received an indefinite suspension, and a few days later against the Hornets).

It's an unusual statistic -- and doesn't take into account the mental lapses, missed defensive assignments or questionable shots that result in Young not being allowed to play extended minutes. But it does say a lot about what a little confidence can do for Young, especially if he believes that he is going to get a lot of minutes.

Young is averaging 9.4 points in 15 starts this season, and the Wizards are 6-9 in those games. The team is also 11-15 when Young plays at least 20 minutes. That might not seem like a big deal, but you also have to consider that the Wizards are 11-37 when he gets 19 or fewer minutes. It might be something to keep an eye on, especially if Young is allowed to finish out the final eight games at shooting guard.


By Michael Lee  |  April 2, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
 
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Next: Foye definitely done for the season

Comments

Nick Young, difference maker?

Uh, no.

Posted by: frankjomama | April 2, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The kid's issues are all too obvious. But he has a nice jump shot, can score regularly when on (who else on this team can) and has some real ball and athletic talent that remains to be harnessed. Moreover, while the kid is very immature, like Gil, despite coming from a tough background he doesn't seem to have a bad bone in his body. Personally, I'm rooting for him.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | April 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young? Scores when he has lots of ball in his hands, plays D when he feels like. Lots of knucklehead between. Dime a dozen.

Posted by: mugsybol | April 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The answer is simple; Young is very inconsistent, he either has a good game, or a bad game, and nothing in between. I have always joked coach can easily decide on whether or not to leave Young in simply by seeing if NY makes his first shot.

So the answer to the question is, when Young made his first shot, he usually played well, and gets to play 30 or more minutes, and of course that would contribute to Wiz's win. Otherwise, he is useless.

So it is not that Young plays better when he plays more minutes, it is the other way around, i.e., he gets to play more when he plays well. When he doesn’t regardless of how many minutes you give him, it would not matter.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly what I say about Nick - if he gets that first shot then I look for a good game for him. But if you misses his first shot he loses his confidence.

Posted by: DieHardFan | April 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think that NY is slow learner but he has learned a little since he's been here.
With a couple or more years in the league he could develop into a VG player. Most of his problems are between the ears. Once he figgers this out he just might work out.
It looks like Blatche got it. If he can get it then Nick should figger it out too.

Posted by: VBFan | April 2, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young has shown he'll NEVER get it. I know NEVER is a long time but this dude is clueless. Say what you want about AB's maturity, at least he has brought his A game since the Big 3 left. What has NY done? Sulk, play like a clueless rookie and just take up physical and cap space. What a loser!

Posted by: tundey | April 2, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Even if Young ever does get it (I'm skeptical) I doubt he'll get it here. At this point, a change of scenery seems like a must for him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh and that record when he plays more than 30 mpg? Meaningless.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My complaints with Nick are the same as my complaints have been with Blatche. By your third year as a professional, we should not still have questions about your maturity level. I don't care how old the player is.

There has been incremental improvement with Nick this year, but it just seems like there are too many ballers out there who are hungry for this opportunity to waste the time hoping to get something out of someone who either doesn't value the opportunity, or doesn't get that he's not valuing the opportunity.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

All of you may be right about Nicks attention to detail or lack there of but I get the feeling if he would have been aquired via our coveted trades or FA signees his diffenciencies would be overlooked. They must think he has potential to be one of the best ever and are pushing or expecting that from him.

If Jamison could get hot and go for 25, we'll just ignore him complaining every foul call he did not get while the break went the other way. Or the quick jumpers he hoisted up. Or Gil refusing to work hard on pick and roll defense. Or Caron missing open men so that he can charge into someone.

All I am saying is that this team has been bad for a while and why don't our coaches use guys for whatever they CAN bring to the table, then try to move them in the off season if he's not you're kind of guy. Not pick and choose who must play perfect in order to get in the game.

The team is bad, they don't have the luxury of grandstanding in that manner.

Posted by: millineumman | April 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Nick is just plain dumb. Thabeet type of dumb.

He has skills, and that was fine when he was playing college and HS ball and 95% of the players he went up against where far less talented, but now that EVERY player he goes against is at least nearly as talented and many are more so, he needs to be smart.

And he isn't.

Posted by: Blurred | April 2, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Not to draw a comparison that will launch into a rambling, tangential and irrational debate, but.....we just had a kid in here in Gee who showed as much pure physical talent and twice the hunger and heart, surely he's not the only one out there or in the D-league....why should we continue to coddle the Youngster?

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

millineumman,

Not to bottom line it too much, but Nick Young is not Jamison, Butler, or Arenas, so to expect coaches to judge him by the same standards as those guys is flatly unrealistic. That's not the way it works, in sports or in life.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Not pick and choose who must play perfect in order to get in the game.

The team is bad, they don't have the luxury of grandstanding in that manner.

Posted by: millineumman

No one's asking for perfect. Just not brain dead. And consistent effort on both ends. Why is that so much to ask for? Gil, Caron, and AJ got the slack because when they put those 3 together, the team went to the playoffs consistently for the first time in a long time. But by the end, most of were complaining about the very same lack of effort on both ends by the big 3.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Young as being a pivitoal piece of the Wizards future. He's talented, yes, but he's a total defensive liability and seems plain and simply put too immature. Pouting and sulking and playing half-assed at times when his first couple shots don't fall or if he doesn't get xx number of minutes etc. - that crap is a serious headache to me as a fan and I'm sure its 20x more of a migrane for the coaching staff.

Posted by: blackman1 | April 2, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Evan Turner on the John Thompson show right now

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What's a knucklehead[definition please].

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course he's not any of the big three and I know those guys are much more accomplished but they also where always hurt (not AJ ) Besides the team being bad they where also often depleted. I guess its the zero tolerance that baffles me. If it's an extention of dissappointing practices, that's fine. I support that as to I don't have access to practice nor know what's "Really" going on.

I'll be glad when he's gone because I don't really care about Nick, I want the team to get better.

Posted by: millineumman | April 2, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in the world someone died or was born at the same time Nick Young went to the bathroom. Coincidence? Or is Nick Young responsible for those acts? Hmmm, let me think ...

Posted by: hock1 | April 2, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"In the dictionary next to the word knucklehead it has a picture of Nick Young"

Sorry old joke.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

ALL this about nick and nothing about miller, javale, thorton, foye, little people and the rest. IF you had so much on this team, look at your record. IF the record don't mean nothing why are you discussing it.NICK IS PART OF A TEAM, NO I IN TEAM.

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

BLURED YOU'RE AN A&& HOLE PLAIN AND SIMPLE, OH AND DUMB ALSO.

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

When Mike Lee posts "JaVale McGee, difference maker?", we'll talk about JaVale.

Miller, Thornton, Foye, Boykins, Singleton and Livingston all give effort on both ends. They may not always play well, but they give effort. Nick, Blatche and McGee some times slip. When they do they get pulled, except maybe for Blatche, who gets a little more leash because of his offense.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh and that record when he plays more than 30 mpg? Meaningless.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Flip's record 22-52 meahingful!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny how before I even voted on the poll, I found myself quickly (and easily) creating mental lists of posters on this blog who would click on "Luck" or "Play him" without hesitating.

And to piggy-back on an idea that Kal had, I would not be surprised at all if NY puts up big numbers (not necessarily becomes a big-time player) with a change of scenary.

Just imagine how much he would love being part of a run and gun "FOUR-guard" line-up in Golden State, where everyone could chalk-up his defensive problems to having to guard forwards all game.

But seriously, I think he could develope and have some success on a good team w/strong leadership, though it would likely be rare huge performances on SportsCenter rather than a consistent contributor.

Posted by: SportzWiz | April 2, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

TS35, YOU'RE AN A&& HOLE, look in the dictionary, you'll also see your face as well, like you sorry a joke.

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

One thing that Nick doesn't get enough credit for is his toughness. He played all 82 games last season and hasn't had a reported injury since October 2008.

I mean Mike Miller is wet tissue paper compared to this kid.

Young has shot 31 more FTs than Miller in almost 400 fewer minutes. That tells me that Young is poised to be a better scorer than Miller at this point if he could ever capture Flip's patience to play through mistakes.

Don't tell me Miller is a better defender than Young cause that's crap. The only reason Mike has looked better of late is because he's now starting at the 3.

Believe it or not, Miller has only made 14 more 3's than Nick and they're both shooting 40% or better from the birdcage.

But the cold facts are that M&M is entirely to old and slow to check the DWades and Iguodalas of the NBA. Nick should be out there guarding those dudes.

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

TS35: Agreed Gee played hard(while here) we've been jerking around with Nick for what? two-three years now and all we got is remote flashes of semi-brilliance and a goofy smile. On another front what about next years coaching situation i'm all in for Avery Johnson Flip ain't cuttin it for me but Teddy might let him ride out his contract what do we think about that situation?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Mae-jude, don't make it bad.
Take a sad blog and make it better.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

That's the most annoying part elfreako, NY clearly has the athletic ability to be a good defender. People often cite his performance on D against Billups in the Denver game. It's just the inconsistency. And it's not because his minutes are inconsistent, his minutes are inconsistent because his effort is inconsistent.

You can rag on Miller if you like, but you neglected to compare their assist and rebound numbers. I was trying to come up with a ratio of Miller's Rbs and Asts to Young's, but it turns out you can't divide by zero.

Miller is clearly heading to the downside of his career, and he's obviously banged up. But he's still producing and hustling. What excuse does Nick have for not hustling 100% whenever he gets minutes? He's certainly rested.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's one man's definition of knucklehead:

"He's shown inconsistency," Saunders said. "He hasn't shown an ability to grasp everything we're trying to do, the way we, or ideally how we want to play. If one guy is screwing up your offense or defense, the whole team looks bad. I talked to him about that [on Monday]. He has to become direction oriented in order to understand what those assignments are. And be able to follow out those assignments."


Posted by: mugsybol | April 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

BLURED YOU'RE AN A&& HOLE PLAIN AND SIMPLE, OH AND DUMB ALSO.

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

NY pros & cons

Pros
creates his own shot
gets to the line fairly frequently
good 3-point shooter
very good FT shooter
tough (physically)
good on-the-ball defender

Cons
erratic confidence levels
poor body language when things go poorly
below avg off-the-ball defender
Poor focus when on bench

Note that the Cons list has only one physical drawback. Everything else is mental.

How strong mentally would any of us be playing with this motley crew Ernie has assembled over the last 3 years?

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Mae-jude, don't make it bad.
Take a sad blog and make it better."

Ha! Nice one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Point taken ts35.

NY is an awful passer and a mediocre rebounder but his upside should be patterned after Jason Terry or Jamal Crawford at this point.

Miller rebounds better than most guards because he's 6'8". He is however a fantastic passer - maybe the best on the team for what that's worth.

I would hate to give up on Young and have him blow up elsewhere a la Rip Hamilton.

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"Flip's record 22-52 meahingful! "

Yep. It means that he's the coach of an injury-depleted team that lost its entire starting lineup over the course of the first half of the season and has been fielding a team composed entirely of second, third, and fourth stringers ever since (and even half of those guys are or have been injured).

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

coach saunders have shown inconsistency minute to nick young he is unfair to nick and favor the rest of the team, let's fact's it nick young is a good looking kid with a smooth game and people tents to dislike the pretty people so hate on hater. you don't bother nick, he is getting paid to play; cash money baby,

Posted by: maejude | April 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"I would hate to give up on Young and have him blow up elsewhere a la Rip Hamilton."

I wouldn't lose much sleep over that.

(And, for the record, Hamilton didn't "blow up" in Detroit. He was a 20 ppg scorer in DC before he got traded. Did he improve as a player in Detroit? Sure. But it's not like he was some scrub they tossed to the curb only to blossom in a new setting.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Rip was injury prone and considered soft when he was here kal.

Nick hasn't been hurt in almost 2 years.

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Maejude, you're 12, right? I might believe 13, but that's as far as I'd go.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | April 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yep. It means that he's the coach of an injury-depleted team that lost its entire starting lineup over the course of the first half of the season and has been fielding a team composed entirely of second, third, and fourth stringers ever since (and even half of those guys are or have been injured).

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse


No!

It means the guy won waht 4 more games than ETaps?

Oh yea, Flip had BTH, Gil, MM and Foye for the first half of the season too?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but elfreako, if you remember, Rip was traded because MJ wanted someone more in his own image who could "create his own shot" which ended up being Stackhouse. In my recollection, the perception was the Rip was 'soft' because he was so skinny, but that didn't reflect reality.

And I will totally concede that NY is not injury prone, but I can't quite get to 'tough'. There is nothing about him aside from the lack of injuries that says physically tough.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Rip was injury prone and considered soft when he was here kal. Nick hasn't been hurt in almost 2 years."

Even if that's true (and as near as I can recall, the only season Hamilton missed a significant number of games due to injury was his third one) it's irrelevant to my point. Hamilton proved himself capable of producing consistently at a high level before he was traded. Young hasn't. The fact that he doesn't have injuries to use as an excuse actually counts against him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Yep. It means that he's the coach of an injury-depleted team that lost its entire starting lineup over the course of the first half of the season and has been fielding a team composed entirely of second, third, and fourth stringers ever since (and even half of those guys are or have been injured).

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse


No!

It means the guy won waht 4 more games than ETaps?

Oh yea, Flip had BTH, Gil, MM and Foye for the first half of the season too?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

I think it is 100% fair to give Flip grief for his part of the poor start (but it's not all on him), and I think it is also totally fair to give him a pass for the bad record post-trade.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"There is nothing about him aside from the lack of injuries that says physically tough."

In fact, his lack of injury can just as easily (and more likely) be interpreted as a byproduct of his lack of toughness. He rarely takes the ball to the rim strong in traffic (preferring contact-averse fadeaways), thus minimizing any risk of injury from contact/collision; and he rarely plays the kind of tough, physical defense that results in the continual pounding that can wear a body down.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"I think it is 100% fair to give Flip grief for his part of the poor start (but it's not all on him), and I think it is also totally fair to give him a pass for the bad record post-trade."

He doesn't get a full pass on any of it. He has his share of the blame to carry. But there's plenty of blame to go around, and given that there's only one of him and more than a dozen players--and they're the ones who actually make anything, good or bad, happen in a game--the bulk of it gets shared by them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I should take part of that back. His willingness (usually) to go to the hoop does indicate a certain level of toughness. He does not attack the rim with reckless abandon, but he will take it to the rim.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree that NY's problem is between his ears. Gee, a rookie D-Leaguer, was able to come in pick up the offense; make the simple play; maintain defensive intensity.

Nick's had 3 different coaches, and all of them wind up sitting him on pine in spite of the fact that the alternative was to play DESHAWN STEVENSON!!

'Nuff said..

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"He does not attack the rim with reckless abandon, but he will take it to the rim."

Yeah, but very very rarely, and then only when he has a clear unobstructed lane. He rarely goes in looking to initiate contact, the way Arenas does. That's supposed to be one of the benefits to having a guard who can break guys down off the dribble and get to the hoop. But he rarely makes use of it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

bozomoeman, in the immortal words of Steve Buckhantz......

DAGGER!!!

Well played....well played.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is a gump! His body language especially on D is obvious. He doesnt get it. Compared with Gee, the difference in intensity and effort was very noticable.

Posted by: digger76 | April 2, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The cold fact is Flip is a bum. The starting lineup should have been Gil, Young, Butler, Blatche and Haywood at the beginning of the season. Jamison and Miller should have been the 3 and 4 coming off the bench with McGee at the 5. This is why we can't go threw another season with the idiot Flip an Ernie running the show. Ernie will trade away our draft choices and Flip wouldn't use them anyway.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | April 2, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Young lacks the mental fortitude, maturity, professionalism and toughness to excel in the league. He is no longer a rookie, no longer a 2nd year player and will soon be a 4th year player. It's not like he came out of high school like Blatche did. Young will soon be a 25 year old man. Those expecting him to suddenly blossom are fooling themselves. If anything, he will begin to slowly lose his explosiveness in a couple years which, combines with his immaturity, is something to dread. At an age where he should be challenging the alpha male to stud the herd, he is as a sapling being suckled in the womb. His D doesn't exist, he is too self-obsessed on the court... 'locking in' to shooting when he has the ball and failing to see assist opportunities developing around him. He dislikes contact, is a weak rebounder, loses mental focus when he misses or gets pulled, either sulks or smiles - never has a game face on - and still doesn't know when to or not to go strong to9 the hoop. If the goal is a championship, Young is not the winner you need. He has too many holes in his game that collapse the phalanx and endanger the team.

Posted by: SammyT1 | April 2, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The cold fact is Flip is a bum. The starting lineup should have been Gil, Young, Butler, Blatche and Haywood at the beginning of the season. Jamison and Miller should have been the 3 and 4 coming off the bench with McGee at the 5. This is why we can't go threw another season with the idiot Flip an Ernie running the show. Ernie will trade away our draft choices and Flip wouldn't use them anyway.

Posted by: rnbrown4

Um, ok. In retrospect, you might be able to make a case for AB, because at least he plays near the rim. But what's the case for Young? If the argument is that CB did nothing but hold the ball and shoot jumpers, why is Young an improvement?

Some like to complain that the team somehow has been holding AB and NY back. The actual cold fact is that if AB or NY were outplaying AJ or CB in preseason / practice, they would have been playing. And even though CB had a rough start to this season for the Wiz, NY still can't carry his jock.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Some like to complain that the team somehow has been holding AB and NY back. The actual cold fact is that if AB or NY were outplaying AJ or CB in preseason / practice, they would have been playing. And even though CB had a rough start to this season for the Wiz, NY still can't carry his jock.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Not true, it was widely reported that Nick Young had the best camp of any player on the squad.

Posted by: NewManagement | April 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

kal, the NBA is a man's league to be sure. If anyone plays 82 games without missing one they are tough.

That's not even up for debate.

Does anyone remember how NY was the best player at training camp the first week in?

What happened? Did he totally fall apart or did the coaches start giving him mixed signals?

At the very least, Nick could be a viable scorer off the bench for a playoff caliber team. Why not here?

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is soft

Posted by: Vicc | April 2, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the caption for the photo should say:
CP3 hacks the shyt out of Young.

If anyone saw the game the refs "missed" that one.

Posted by: elfreako | April 2, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Nick has been inconsistent because his PT has been inconsistent. People hear something negative about a guy and it becomes him(no BB IQ, no defense, etc). I don't think any real ballplayer can be "consistently" effective at anything on the court, if you're constantly looking over your shoulder. I've seen other players on this team who have done worse and not get the treatment Nick is getting. Blatche didn't even get to this point until the trades were made and Flip had to use him, and the same negative things was said about him, yet he has blossomed. McGee gets the same "Nick" treatment. We need a coach who will let these young guys play and develop. If we were winning games I could understand, but with 2 consecutive seasons in the lottery, what do we have to lose by letting them play through mistakes?

Posted by: garrybrown | April 2, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I read this post, and I immediately thought of the recent post at Bullets Forever about how Ted Leonsis believes in basketball analytics.

http://www.bulletsforever.com/2010/4/2/1402073/ted-leonsis-proclaims-belief-in

I'm all in favor of guys getting playing time based on actual performance.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | April 2, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Not true, it was widely reported that Nick Young had the best camp of any player on the squad.

Posted by: NewManagement

And then he tanked in the preseason, and by the time of their first regular season game, his coach is saying this...

"He's shown inconsistency," Saunders said about Young on Tuesday. "He hasn't shown an ability to grasp everything we're trying to do, the way we, or ideally how we want to play. If one guy is screwing up your offense or defense, the whole team looks bad. I talked to him about that [on Monday]. He has to become direction oriented in order to understand what those assignments are. And be able to follow out those assignments."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/10/young-lost-in-the-shuffle.html

So elfreako, the answer to your question is yes, he totally fell apart.

You can debate his merits all you like, but it simply comes down to this....on this talent depleted roster, all they are really asking him to do is keep his head in the game, all game, every game, and that ability seems to continue to elude him.

He seems to quickly lose confidence if things don't go his way. He even admits as much in the link that I posted. My ultimate point is, if your confidence is that fragile in your third year in the NBA, why do I want you on my team, regardless of your talent?

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"kal, the NBA is a man's league to be sure. If anyone plays 82 games without missing one they are tough.

That's not even up for debate.

Nonsense. Not getting hurt may make a guy durable, but that's a far, far different thing than being tough (esp. when talking about a 20 mpg jumpshooting, nondefending, nonrebounding backup SG). We're talking about the NBA not the NFL.

"What happened? Did he totally fall apart or did the coaches start giving him mixed signals?"

He was the one giving the mixed signals. After Saunders made a big deal out of praising him for his work in emulating Hamilton's catch-and-shoot style in order maximize his effectiveness as a shooter, Young proceeded to shoot his mouth off about how shooting off screens was cool and all in camp but that he was going to go back to his own style after the season started. The coach publicly praised him for getting something right and no sooner does Saunders finish talking then Young basically blows him off by announcing his plans to ingore the coach's wishes.

He didn't get it then, he doesn't get it now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 2, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Nick has been inconsistent because his PT has been inconsistent. People hear something negative about a guy and it becomes him(no BB IQ, no defense, etc). I don't think any real ballplayer can be "consistently" effective at anything on the court, if you're constantly looking over your shoulder. I've seen other players on this team who have done worse and not get the treatment Nick is getting. Blatche didn't even get to this point until the trades were made and Flip had to use him, and the same negative things was said about him, yet he has blossomed. McGee gets the same "Nick" treatment. We need a coach who will let these young guys play and develop. If we were winning games I could understand, but with 2 consecutive seasons in the lottery, what do we have to lose by letting them play through mistakes?

Posted by: garrybrown

A) I'm about to express a very unpopular viewpoint, but AB has been regressing. Maybe it's still the ankle, maybe it's that teams are getting more tape to look at of him, maybe it's AT being out, maybe it's fatigue, who knows? But his rebounding numbers in particular have started to slide. He hasn't been slacking when it comes to getting shots up though.

B) My opinion of NY has nothing to do with what I've heard, just what I've watched. The bad defense is not a rumor. I do generally agree that at this point, they really have nothing to lose by throwing Nick out there. At the same time, if he's not doing the things he's supposed to be doing, why should he be rewarded with playing time?

C) If Young isn't sure on any given night how long he's going to play, then instead of sulking and getting down on himself, he should play each minute as hard as he can. He should be flying up and down the court. As Coach Thompson says, "if you're going to make a mistake, make it going 100 miles an hour." But he doesn't do that.

That couldn't actually work though, right? You couldn't have some player walk in from out of the blue, play hard for every minute he was in there on both ends...and suddenly find himself a starter. Couldn't possibly happen.

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.

Julian Tepper in Placitas, NM
PS - That said, I hope that NY gets significant floor time.

Posted by: jutepper1 | April 2, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Well said Julian. I'm not sure who's side you're on, but anyone quoting Latin must be smart ;-)

Posted by: ts35 | April 2, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that takes what Flip says as gospel don't live in a real world. Flip loves Miller but Miller probably leads the team in turnovers and he will not shoot . As for Defense between Miller and Young I'll take Young any day.

Anyone who's played sports know if you feel you have he coaches confidence you play better. Flip gives no confidence to the young players. All you had to do is witness what he said when Wiz played the Celtics. All he could talk about was KG while Blatche had 30. In Flips mind KG owes him his career. I think McHale had something to do with that.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | April 2, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Blurred about Young being just plain dumb.

"Nick Young, difference maker?" must be a day after April Fools Day joke.

If a 3rd yr #1 pick can't step forward given the opportunity that he's had on a team as bad as the Wiz when ?

Posted by: renostaging2005 | April 3, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards will REGRET the day that they trade or release Nick Young. This team cannot score 100 points without Nick playing 30 minutes or more. Go to nba.com, espn.com, 82minutes.com or any other site and you'll see I'm correct. Young's already under contract. Let the man play himself onto or off of the team!

Posted by: musicmanjr | April 3, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards ar 6-2 when Young plays 30 minutes or more; that's just "dumb luck."

Posted by: Theone9 | April 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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