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Xavier Henry to replace Nick Young in Lakers starting lineup

Nov 3, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

Xavier Henry AP

After their surprising opening night victory against the Clippers, the Lakers have looked more like the team we expected to see with Kobe Bryant out of the lineup in the early part of the season.

L.A. has dropped two straight, and with Mike D’Antoni searching for answers, a change to the starting lineup will take place for the team’s game Sunday night at home against the Atlanta Hawks.

From Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

Xavier Henry will start in place of Nick Young on Sunday night against Atlanta, Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said. …

“Just [trying] to find a better spot for Nick, maybe get a little bit more production out of him,” D’Antoni said. “[Henry] has played as well if not better than anybody. There’s no reason not to go ahead and do this and lengthen his time on the court a little bit.”

Henry deserves the promotion, while Young’s numbers simply didn’t leave D’Antoni any choice.

Over his first three games, Young has made six field goals and committed three turnovers. He’s shot 3-10, 2-9, and 1-3 from the field, good for a mark of just 27.3 percent.

Henry, meanwhile, is averaging 13 points per game and his shooting 40 percent from the field. He struggled in his last outing, however, going 0-6 from the field in the loss to the Spurs. (And the nine stitches he took to the head may have had something to do with that.)

The change needed to be made, and it was a no-brainer given the players’ relative levels of production. But it’s not as though D’Antoni has a whole lot of options.

  1. kb2408 - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Now that my beloved LAKERS are playing exactly like most “knowledgeable” people thought they would without Kobe, where are those few who said the LAKERS are better without him? I’m a diehard fan and even I admit that it’s going to be difficult for them to make the playoffs even WITH a healthy Kobe. Without him the LAKERS are lottery bound. Nash is done, Pau is showing his age, and the rest of the squad resembles the Land of the Lost Misfits. I do actually like Henry, J. Hill and Farmar though.

  2. jgray30 - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Well while your at it MD, sit Nash on the bench also. He hasn’t produced in ANY game in the last 2 seasons. At this stage, Farmar is a better option. Also will someone please remind this coach that Meeks isn’t a pg. he is a spot up shooter. well he’s supposed to be.

    • JHathwell - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Well, this is goofy.

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Nash does appear to be at the end of the line and I know he only played in like 50 games or so last season but he DID produce last yr.

      He just missed another 50/40/90 shooting season last year with a poor stretch to close out the season and he only ended up shooting .497% (which rounds to 50 percent but it technically below it) from the field.

      It would have been his 5th such season. As it is he has 4 such seasons to his credit. Only ONE other player has even two 2 such seasons and that is Mr. Larry Bird.

      4 others have one such season and Kevin Durant is one of them as he achieved it last yr.

      Nash shot .438% from 3 pt range last season and well over 90% from the free throw line.

      Nash last season at 38 yrs old compared to Ray Allen at 37 yrs old of the Heat:


      Nash .497%
      Allen ..449%

      3 pt %

      Nash .438%
      Allen .419%

      Free throw %

      Nash .922%
      Allen ..886%

      Now for their CAREER percentages in these same categories lest anyone think last seasons percentages were a fluke…

      Career FG%

      Nash .491%
      Allen .452%

      Career 3 pt %

      Nash .428%
      Allen .401%

      Career Free throw %

      Nash .904%
      Allen .894%

      Nash didn’t do too badly last season or the season before that so you can’t really say he hasn’t produced for the past two seasons…

      Although he appears to be running on fumes so far this season…

      • JMClarkent - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        It is a shame, but Steve is no longer a starter. He played at a very high level for a very long time, but once your legs are done, that is a rap.

  3. antistratfordian - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Why bench Young for #KobeSystem efficiency? In any case, you know you’re in bad shape if you’re forced to start Nick Young – if you had your druthers he wouldn’t even be on your team.

  4. milesexpress - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    The vast majority of this Laker Squad with not be around in 2014-15 season. J. Hill, X. Henry might last, maybe. I like Kaman and Gasol, but time moves. Gasol and Kaman are short term at this point of their careers. Kobe will be there if he chooses…. The Lakers are loaded with players with one year deals. 90% are Gone. All players under 25 years old should get playing time… Good Luck Xavier….

  5. detectivejimmymcnulty - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Quite honestly the best thing for the Lakers to do is tank. There are many players in the draft that could develop into superstars. Getting a top 5-10 pick would really help them rebuild faster.

  6. jgray30 - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I watched every Laker game last season. just because you shoot 2 out of 4 doesn’t mean u r productive.

  7. jgray30 - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    The keyword was PRODUCTIVE not Efficient…

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