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Posted at 8:03 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Young ready for rematch against his hometown Lakers

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

Nick Young knows that he will never be able to get his father, Charles, to fully switch alliances from his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers. The tradition is too rich (16 NBA championships). The continued success is too tough to abandon (back-to-back titles). So, they have an agreement: Charles will root for the Lakers, except when they play his son.

There will be no conflict in the Young household on Tuesday and there was none last week when Young went for a season-high 30 points in the Wizards' 115-108 defeat last week at Staples Center. "He was pulling for me that day, but every other day, he's a Laker fan. Everybody in my house really," Young said. "You grew up watching the Lakers, being from LA. I didn't see too much Showtime, I was real young at the time. That was like my era, watching Kobe Bryant, Eddie Jones, Shaq, and all them."

Young cannot hide that he was once a huge fan of the Lakers and Bryant. He shows it in his choice of shoes. Every game, Young is in some colorful, special-ordered design of Kobe Bryant's signature Nikes. Bryant talked trash to Young in the fourth quarter of their game last week, but Young said he noticed that the player he grew up admiring was admiring his footwear. "I could tell he was looking at them," Young said with a smile. "They was a little better than his, he was looking at them."

Young may have the better looking shoes, but Bryant has the far superior team, especially with the Wizards likely to be without Andray Blatche, and possibly John Wall and Gilbert Arenas for the rematch. The challenge is a tad more difficult for the Wizards without one or all of those players, Young said.

"You need your key players. The game we had in LA, we had mostly everybody except for Dray and we came back from down 20, we would've been okay if we played that hard from the beginning," Young said. "It's kind of tough, because you never know who's going to play, everybody has been a little banged up, a little hurt. We're trying to do the best that we can with the players we've got out there."

FROM THE POST
As he prepares to face the Lakers tonight -- and with Andray Blatche out, John Wall questionable and Gilbert Arenas generally sore -- Nick Young realizes that the Wizards are depending on him more than ever.

President Obama honored the NBA champion Lakers yesterday, but instead of welcoming them at the White House, the setting was a DC community center.

Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis was included in SportsBusiness Journal's annual list of the 50 most influential people in sports business (DC Sports Bog).

AROUND THE WEB
Andrew Bynum told reporters that he was definitely playing against the Wizards tonight. He missed the first 24 games this season while recovering from knee surgery performed over the summer (Los Angeles Times).

Bullets Forever's Jake Whitacre hands his keys to the palace to a bunch of rookies.

Truth About It's Kyle Weidie talked to Flip Saunders and John Wall about the pick and roll.

Carmelo Anthony denies that he gave the Nuggets an ultimatum (Fanhouse).

Two years later, David Aldridge reports, Seattle is still stung by the loss of the SuperSonics (NBA.com).

By Michael Lee  | December 14, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Josh Howard talks about his return to the Wizards
Next: John Wall, Andray Blatche out against Los Angeles Lakers

Comments

Might as well put Nick on Kobe and see if he can do his thing without getting in quick foul trouble.

Posted by: divi3 | December 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young is one of the few bright spots on the Wizards. He just seems more serious and focused when he's out on the floor than in previous years. I think he has realized that he can't bring his carefree attitude onto the court with him.

Based on Mike Lee's quotes from Nick Young this season, it seems like he is still his same "goofy" self. But on the court, Nick Young looks like a cold-blooded assassin. The Wizards will definitely need another big game from Nick Young tonight.

Posted by: MEssex | December 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Forget all that, I just care about specific things that will help us win. Obviously we need to get more healthy but most of all, we have to stop settling for Jumpers. Thats all we do. Gil had a great driving stretch like 5 games ago where he started to attack & get to the line alot like the old Gil. Now he's again attacking less then he did at his worst and when he does, he has no confidence. You can tell he's just looking to pass even though he has a chance at a layup so it always gets stolen.

If he is force to lay it up, he's scared & unconfident so he doesnt even get off the ground and just throws up a prayer. For some reason we always set Gil's screens so he has to go to his left which gives him no chance of finishing. If he's gimpy then atleast set the screens for him to go to his strong side which will make his chances alot better to finish and make his passes easier. Overall he's just been looking alot less explosive lately so hopefully he gets it back. The bad thing is that I can see him attacking again this game but LA is the longest team in the league so it will probably be hard for him to finish which will quickly kill his confidence again.

Im sick of seeing Dray, get it on the block, only to back out, do some crossovers, & fadeaway. Back the guy down and go towards the basket or drive it to the whole. He looks like a 7ft Jamal Crawford at times. Its sicking. Alot of it is Flip's fault. He's definitely not preaching enough about us driving obviously & most of all his system is just setup for jump shots. We all know our IQ sucks. NY needs to take the blinders off and realize that he can pass sometimes. Both he & Gil need to realize that if you catch it off the curl, you dont have to always quickly pull up. If the defender is trailing then they should keep on going to the rim.

1 thing I really hated last year and again this year is that our guys never ever ever hit the 1st cutter. We have alot of plays where a guy cuts to clear out the lane and then the real curl guy comes behind it. Still, sometimes that 1st cut is there and its a guranteed success if you can make that pass. The problem is that to make it you have to do it immediatly, have confidence, and sometimes be tall enough to see in traffic. Thats why I loved the Livingston pickup last year because I said that he could be the guy to pull it off since he's a true PG, has that height, & has that quick passing reflex. Sure enough he did and we got a ton of baskets or drew alot of fouls like that. Guys need to see that on film & make that pass

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Nice team to pick your return to action Andrew Bynum.

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I will say this though. There is 1 thing that is very 50/50 to me right now and could either kill my confidence in the season or take it through the roof. Alot of people have been waiting for Howard to come back and that will make us better but I read his comments about how he cant make any shots right now which made me say that this guy wont help us any time soon, if this year at all.

On the flip side that comment made me think about Gil & my overall philosophy which I have gotten away from. Gil played solid in the Preseason and very well in that 1st game against NY but has struggled since, espically with his J. It makes him look like a shell of himself and its only going to get worse.

However, after that 1st game against NY, I said something that I always live by because I see it all the time. I said that mostly every guy looks great in that 1st game back because of the adrenaline & so on but then reality sets in that theyve missed alot of time and it takes them awhile to look that way again. They will get there but most likely they will play like crap alot until they get back. Thats for normal guys, let alone Gil who just hasnt played that much at all the last 4 years.

Basically I expect Howard to look very good in the 1st game & might have another good game or 2 but reality will then set in and he will look average at best at times. The good thing is that like Gil, if Howard's shot isnt falling he can still have a good impact on games and Josh should still get alot of lay-ins from Wall pushing the rock & him slashing.

Most of all though, I think Gil will soon break out. I think he had that good start and then reality set in. Then the more he plays the more he will come back to him and he will start shooting the ball well, make less turnovers, and just overall look better. Its always like that for guys coming back. Therefore all we have to do is try to get healthy & all these guys will look better & better as the year goes on. No other team can say that its 4 best players are at there worst right now and will look better & better as the season goes. Wall, Gil, Howard, & Dray will look much better later then they do now, if they are healthy

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I am looking forward to JH coming back because of his defense and his game experience. He has had playoff experiences that most if not all of the current Wiz have not had. Like I said before, we will know much more about this team around mid season.

JW needs to sit until his foot is completely healthy. Otherwise it will linger on into next season or cause an even worse injury. It is natural for his other leg to over-compensate for his leg with the injured foot. The last thing we need is a knee injury on top of the foot injury.

Flip needs to limit each players minutes to less than 40 per game. Start using your bench more and give your starters a chance to stay fresh. Stop trying to coach this team as if they are a veteran team and realize that these are kids that need to be "taught" the game from top to bottom. This includes how to take care of their bodies, how to eat right, and how to mentally understand the game.

I just have this feeling that Flip is not the guy to do the job. I am seeing the physical progression of certain players (which they have probably done on their own), but not the mental progression. I just don't think he is a good coach for young inexperienced players.

Also, PLEASE hire a big man coach. Kakeem, Alonzo, Patrick Ewing, or somebody to work with the bigs.

Posted by: TEliasB | December 14, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think Nick is the same Nick he has always been. He probably could and should have pushed himself a little more to have been more productive in his first couple of years but I think the difference from now and then is just he has improved and they are FORCED to play him. People who come down on him and rag so hard on him are seem to be those with that fake azz know-it-all, get with mentality.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I think the difference from now and then is just he has improved and they are FORCED to play him.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

gmac78

Wow a player can actually get better by getting some playing time...

I wonder if Ernie and/or Etaps (the team's Director of Player Development)know that?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Much as it pains me to intrude on the pissing party with actual facts:

Young is averaging pretty much the same minutes this season (23) as he has the last two (19 and 22). So the notion that his improved play is solely a function of increased PT and that the coaches were somehow holding him back from being all he could be in previous years is, of course, nonsense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

He probably could and should have pushed himself a little more to have been more productive in his first couple of years

Posted by: gmac78 | December 14, 2010 11:06 AM |

Posted by: gmac78 | December 14, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

dunno if any of yall follow Mike Lee on twitter but he just posted this Kobe Bryant on what advice he'd give John Wall, who will miss his 8th game of the season because of injury 2night vs. LAL: "Buy Nikes."

kobe seems to think it could be tha shoes

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

When you got a coach like TAPOUT and then flip playing guys like foy,dom, miller,borgins,kirk and whoever end front of you, it makes no different what you do you're still want play[and you no you're better.] GMAC not one is better than nick.

Posted by: maejude | December 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

DLT20; You need too take your blind over writing self, some where, and sit down, and shut up. Trying to be deep, make you sound like a fool.

Posted by: maejude | December 14, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

DLT20; You need too take your blind over writing self, some where, and sit down, and shut up. Trying to be deep, make you sound like a fool.

Posted by: maejude | December 14, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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