HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Nick Young doesn’t have a great reputation around the league.
He’s an inefficient scorer who doesn’t pass, he’s not a very good defender and when Deron Williams said that John Wall wasn’t “playing with the smartest guys,” he might have had Young in mind.
On Monday, as the Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for the third time this season, Young had a breakout game offensively, scoring 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
Eric Patten of Clippers.com has the story from L.A.:
Young made his first two shots, Monday, though, a step back jumper along the baseline and a 3-pointer 36 seconds later. It seemed to set the tone for him for the rest of the first half. He made another jumper early in the second quarter and drew a foul on Daequan Cook with a pump fake on a jumper, earning two free throws.
“I was pleased with Nick because his first couple shots, he didn’t settle,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We’ve been talking about when guys are running at him [using] that one dribble pull-up that he’s really good at.
“I thought he did a good job, not only making shots, but his selection of shots, I thought was good.”
Since joining the Clippers last month, Young is shooting just 38 percent. He’s taken 171 shots and has exactly 10 assists in 444 minutes. But the Clippers are 13-5 with Young in uniform and they’ve been pretty good — especially defensively — with Young on the floor.
Clippers efficiency since March 18
|Young on/off floor||MIN||Pace||OffRtg||DefRtg||NetRtg||+/-|
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
While Young may not be a lock-down defender, he does give the Clippers a lot more length on the wings than they had before the trade. But interestingly, L.A. has been better defensively with Young at the three than at the two.
Take a look at the numbers with both Young and Chris Paul on the floor …
Clippers efficiency with Paul and Young
|Paul + Young at 2||106||91.7||116.3||111.5||+4.8||+10|
|Paul + Young at 3||157||90.7||105.7||97.9||+7.8||+39|
|Paul + Young total||263||91.2||109.9||103.5||+6.4||+49|
The Clippers have played 86 minutes with Paul, Young and Caron Butler on the floor, allowing 111 points per 100 possessions. But that combo hasn’t played more than a few minutes together in any game since March 30th, so they’ve been using Young more at the three (backing up the starter Butler) of late.
Ryan Gomes, who was backing up Butler before Young arrived, was one of the Clippers’ most ineffective players this season. So Young gives L.A. an upgrade even if he’s not shooting well.
And if he is shooting well, Young will obviously be a big X-factor in the Western Conference playoffs.