Mike D'Antoni Benches Nick Young in Favor of Xavier Henry for LA Lakers
With the Lakers starting the season 1-2 and searching for a way to jump-start production from Young as well as the starting unit, head coach Mike D'Antoni has decided to send Swaggy P to the bench in favor of Henry.
Change to the starting line up tonight according to Mike D’Antoni: @xhenry7 will start, with Nick Young heading to the bench.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 3, 2013
According to Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell, D'Antoni has been impressed with Henry's "development and play," but more importantly, the coach believes that the move will allow Young to find a rhythm that's been missing since the year began.
D’Antoni has been very pleased with Henry’s development and play, clearly, and thinks Young could find success as a bench scorer.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 3, 2013
In theory, the move should allow each player to be in a better position to thrive on the floor.
Henry should provide some sorely needed defense on the wing in a starting lineup that's inept at that end of the floor, while Young should be free to play his style of game and serve in a sixth man "gunner" kind of role for the Lakers.
Logical that Young can play more his game without sharing touches with Nash and Gasol. Henry's drives give slower starters some penetration.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) November 3, 2013
With Kobe Bryant's return still uncertain, both players are going to have to step up and play bigger roles for LA than we've seen to date.
This is highly unlikely to be the last time we see D'Antoni tinkering with a rotation that is anything but set in stone, and it's another reminder that the Lakers season is filled with uncertainties.
As Mike D'Antoni recently told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Lakers have "seven to eight question marks" on the current roster.
Both Henry and Young fall squarely in that category until each proves otherwise, and Lakers fans have to be hopeful that this switch will provide some positive momentum moving forward.
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