BY THE NUMBERS:
0 – Players on non-winning teams that finished ahead of Young (8th) in Sixth Man of the Year voting. All but one of the seven players who topped Swaggy P in votes were on playoff teams (except 4th-place finisher Markieff Morris on 48-34 Phoenix).
17.9 – Team-leading scoring average by Young in his 28.3 minutes per game. He put up just 12.3 points per game in nine starts, but 18.8 in 55 games off the bench to lead all NBA bench players.
135 – Three-pointers made by Young on 38.6 percent shooting, including an NBA-best seven triples that came as part of four-point plays.
One of the brightest lights in an otherwise difficult 2013-14 campaign was the play of L.A. native and first-year Laker Nick Young, whose energy on and off the floor helped buoy the team. In the locker room, Young’s playful and inclusive nature helped to keep his teammates loose, and largely helped team chemistry stay intact despite 319 games missed to injury – including the 18 games he missed with a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise in his left knee suffered on Feb. 6. After nine starts early in the season, Young quickly locked himself into the role of bench scorer, and led the Lakers with his career-high 17.9 points per game (18.8 as a sub) on 42.9 percent shooting, 38.6 percent from three and 82.5 percent from the foul line. He added just a few boards (2.6) and assists (1.5), but was mostly on the floor to score. Young required 28.3 minutes per game to get his numbers, translating to 22.8 points per 36 minutes, but embraced that role and could see himself moving forward as a bench scorer. If not a lockdown defender, Young did manage to exceed the coaching staff’s expectations of his play and effort on the defensive end. His best stretch of the season came upon his return from the knee injury. Young averaged 24.1 points on 50.7 percent field goals and 44.9 percent from three in nine April games, including outbursts of 40 (4/1 vs. POR), 32 (4/8 vs. HOU) and 41 (4/14 at Utah) points.
IN HIS WORDS:
“Hopefully I could be back but we’ll see what (the Lakers’) plans are after the draft and settle in to what they want to do. I appreciate everything they said to me and being able to do what I do here, and for coach to let me play my game was big.”