Round 4 of the 07-08 Wizards player evaluations……(the previous entries are: Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov & Dominic McGuire). My thoughts are below, be sure and head to Bullets Forever for complete coverage from the Pradamaster and JakeTheSnake.
Some call Nick Young The City, but he’ll always be the Bean Burrito to me……and to him I suppose since Nick gave himself that AKA. It seems like I got on the kid like a disappointed father many times this year….but in the end, just like dad, I gotta like him.
The Good: Nick Young has that mid-range step back J that can be NBA-dangerous, and he’s very fluid in his motions. While his handles are nice, he seemed to rely on his cross-over as the first option too much. We know Young can slam it on some fools and some crybabies. (Sidebar: How about the guy saying “very athletic” at the end of the slam on LeBron YouTube? Sounds like who black comedians impersonate when they do their white guy voice.) While tied with Blatche for 8th on the team in average ppg, Nick was 4th among Wizards in points per 40 minutes. March was by far Young’s best month (10.6 ppg, 2.1 reb, 51.9 fg%, 50% 3p%), so he clearly gained offensive confidence towards the end of the season.
The Bad: Nick Young is not very strong….but what would you expect from a lengthy rookie? Still, to take advantage of his mid-range game, he’s going to have to learn to move better off the ball, and that requires strength to get separation. Nick never really showed the intensity to be a constant mover, a la Rip Hamilton. But maybe he is not that type of player (also the Reggie Miller mold)…..So, if Young’s not distracting the defense with movement, he’s got to be creating for others, right? No, not really (just check Nick Young’s assist rating (9.1), terrible [knickerblogger.net]). To be a player in this league, you can’t just score buckets. As a guard, you also need the ability to get your teammates the ball, especially in Eddie Jordan’s offense……else you’ll just be another JR Rider or Harold Miner (yes, I realize a criminal and a recluse are horrible comparisons, and I am sorry for that).
The Ugly: Defense. Now, I must admit that if there is any aspect of Nick Young’s game that noticeably improved the most towards the end of the season, it would be his intensity on defense. Still, increased intensity doesn’t make the overall defensive progression major…..the Burrito has a long, long way to go. He just fouls so damn much (not as much as Andray Blatche though)…..team fouls are +6 when Young is on the court, and opponent FT attempts are +7 [82games.com]. Maybe it’s that building strength thing, but I still anticipate future frustrations with Nick’s Lock-Smith-ability.
The Future? Kid better be working hard in LA. He scored 41 points in 62 minutes in 2 games against the Lakers this year……I sure hope he’s studying the complete game of Kobe Bryant during these 2008 NBA Playoffs.
Up Next: Andray Blatche