Nick Young returns to practice after left knee "scare"
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.
"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."
| February 8, 2011; 3:23 PM ET
Categories: Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, Nick Young, Yi Jianlian
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