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Posted at 3:23 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Nick Young returns to practice after left knee "scare"

By Michael Lee

Nick Young returned to practice on Tuesday after developing some discomfort in his left knee the day before. Coach Flip Saunders said that Young was able to go through every drill without any complications and should be available when the Wizards host Milwaukee on Wednesday.


I'm fine. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

"He's got, probably some tendinitis in there, and when he cuts a certain way, he kind of gets a little aggravation with that," Saunders said. "He seemed okay today."

Young attempted to make a cut along the baseline near the end of Monday's practice, but dropped to the ground awkwardly after planting his left knee. He dragged himself along the baseline, where head athletic trainer Eric Waters started tending to him and later assisted him up the stairs.

"I was a little scared when it happened. I went upstairs and it kind of calmed down," Young said. "I was trying to do something and my knee didn't go with my body. It was more of a scare than anything."

Saunders ruled out Yi Jianlian, who missed his second straight practice with a sprained left ankle. Saunders said that he would like to have Yi by this weekend. Yi didn't have a limp as he moved around after practice and said his ankle is "better."

Young has struggled from the floor in his past two games, as he has shot just 37.8 percent (14 for 37) against Orlando and Atlanta. Saunders compared some of Young's one-on-one moves against the Hawks to "PlayStation" and added that he is trying to adjust to being the focal point of opposing defenses.

"If they are trapping you and doing things to take you out of your offense, that's respect, so what you do is, you have to find other ways to be effective," Saunders said. "What happens is, you have to learn how to play without the ball, learning how to make your own offense at times and being multi-dimensional. But it can be an effect on you. Normally, the first few times you see it, it's almost panic situation, the more you see it, the more comfortable you become."

Andray Blatche has started to make the adjustment, as he has avoided forcing the issue by handing out 11 assists in his past two games. He can relate Young's struggles. "I had a taste of it last year, but now it's definitely tougher for Nick. He's hot right now," he said. "I know a lot of teams are trying to find schemes to slow him down, but to break it, you have to pass the ball. You're not going to be able to break it by dribbling or trying to get to the hole. You gotta pass the ball and swing it."

Young said he is learn as much as he can through this process. "I'm staying ready. I've got to stay on top of my game. Watch film. Try to learn the little things out there, that's about it, really, trying to pick up everything I can really."

In an effort to break out of slumps, Young has often tried different looks with his hair. His mother blew out his Afro for the game against the Hawks and over the past few days, Young has had his hair in twists. He said he has not abandoned the Afro. "I love the 'fro. This is to make my hair grow," Young said of the twists. "I got moms at home. She just want to try anything on my head."

Will the twists be the look he takes onto the floor against Milwaukee? "I don't know. We'll see," Young said. "I might wait until a road game for this."

By Michael Lee  | February 8, 2011; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, Nick Young, Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Keeping their heads up, despite losing streak

Comments

In an effort to break out of slumps, Young has often tried different looks with his hair.

That pretty much sums up Nick Young.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"If they are trapping you and doing things to take you out of your offense, that's respect, so what you do is, you have to find other ways to be effective," Saunders said. "What happens is, you have to learn how to play without the ball, learning how to make your own offense at times and being multi-dimensional. But it can be an effect on you. Normally, the first few times you see it, it's almost panic situation, the more you see it, the more comfortable you become." -Flip

Sounds good Flip, not nearly as damning as some of the commentary around here.Some of NY's critics couldn't wait for him to hit a rough patch so they could start crowing.
Some of Nick's struggles of late have come from the double teams and guys running out at him. I agree he's gotta learn how to react to those situations, but if we know opposing teams are focusing on NY, how bout we throw in a wrinkle to counter that? i've seen Nick hit Javale for an oop and Book for a Poster passing out of the double team. But those guys are always moving around the paint. They don't just find their sweets spots like Shard,Dray and YI; all of whom would prefer to shoot a jumper than mix it up. I'd like to see our bigs roll after NY curls off their screen a coupla times. That's how he hit Book and Vale. It's also an easier pass (going towards the rim where he's already looking vs. turning around mid air) if the shot is contested or he's double teamed. I think a coupla folks talked about it in the past, but the guys playing around NY need to make those plays a lil easier for him.

I'll take a lil bad with the good on his dribble drive moves. Sometimes he's OC, but i like him keeping the D off balance. He's gotta stay in control though.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 8, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"That pretty much sums up Nick Young."

Sad but true (and funny).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

In an effort to break out of slumps, Young has often tried different looks with his hair.

That pretty much sums up Nick Young.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse
pretty much sums up Mike Lee. NY mentions film study and work with the coaches on his role in the offense and all Lee can talk about is hair styles. I guess when he said "trying to pick up everything I can really," he was talking about picking his Afro, huh? Oh yeah and the tendonitis that's been bothering him, that doesn't affect his game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 8, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess when he said "trying to pick up everything I can really," he was talking about picking his Afro, huh?

We should all be happy that he doesn't practice Santeria.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

While today the rules are different between the AHL and the D league and our professional teams, I am hopeful that the D league can be developed and utilized to become an essential part of the overall program of success and excellence for our NBA team. We need to leverage all of the tools at our disposal in our rebuild. Ted's Take

I hope there is an announcement coming.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10 - good points on the bigs wanting to shoot jumpers all the time.

The problem is the Wiz are full of players that should be 3rd options at best. Even with NY emerging he should be a nice 3rd option, Blatche should be an option off the bench. Javale should be a specialty high energy shot blocker type that can beat normal bigs down the court like Tyson chandler. Hinrich would be a nice 7-8 man on a winning team. Yi should be the 4th big in any team's rotation and needs to go to Europe. Booker deserves more tick.

With this squad i don't know if Wall is that special or not. he is gifted, but he needs some tools around him.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: oknow1 | February 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

it's not a revelation, they just don't help out Wall or NY by finding shooting spots and becoming statues

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 8, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Passing is just another facet of the game that Nick needs to work on. Teams are doubling him, now it's time to figure out where the doubler's rotating from and make them pay. Nick hasn't been doubled since his college days, and then he mostly could just shoot over them.

Now he's got to figure out where to swing the ball to effectively hurt the double teams. The guy's went from a microwave role off the bench to the team's primary scorer many nights. That means he's right at the center of the scouting report and film study. Nick will be going up against guys that know his moves better then he does.

Nick's got to work hard to put up that 20 a night when it's expected. It's no different then McGee's adjustment to being a starter, when the team expects you to get ten rebounds a night, it's a lot harder then just coming in and outjumping people.

Wall needs some more tools around him, but he also needs to learn quite a bit about the game himself. He needs to do a better job of figuring out where to get his teammates the ball. He's getting a lot of assists, but he's leaving some on the table too. He's got to learn to shoot better and that will come with practice. And in the NBA game he can't get passive about getting to the rack, getting hit at the rim is point guard gold in the NBA.

Too often Wall gets passive about driving and too worried about the offensive play.
Plays are designed to create seams in the defense, when one develops Wall needs to break down the D and get to the rim. Often he's only going to the rim in open court play, he needs to pick it up and go out of the half court offense more.

And he really needs to learn to defend, he's really getting torched by point, after point. I really like Wall and I am a big fan, but people that torched Arenas about his D, but don't have a thing to say about Wall's. just aren't watching the games.

This team's got a lot of weakness's and a rookie point guard is one of them, the Wiz aren't going to win until Wall matures some as a player. McGee, Blatche, and Young aren't at the bottem of every problem with the Wiz.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 8, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the Wiz should focus on getting Wall back into his comfort zone. He's the future, right? We're not sure about anybody else on this roster.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear from you GM. When I grow up, I want to be just like you.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

With this squad i don't know if Wall is that special or not. he is gifted, but he needs some tools around him.

Posted by: oknow1

The Wizards roster is full of tools.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | February 9, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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