Through the first couple of weeks of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the pleasant surprises in the league. Los Angeles is currently holding down the eighth spot in the standing in the Western Conference with a 6-5 record. Following Saturday’s 125-99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Nick Young made a bold proclamation about his team prospects this season.
Have the Lakers shown enough to suggest they can compete for a playoff spot?
“We think we could, for sure,” Lakers forward Nick Young said. “If we continue to play how we’ve been playing…..”
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson then interrupted Young and asked about the subject matter. After Young caught Clarkson up to speed, the two playfully chastised a reporter for bringing up the topic.
“It’s not nice. You put pressure on these young guys,” Young said. “Now we have to make the playoffs when you said [before] we were the last team in the world.”
The Lakers do look like a completely differently team this season under first-year head coach Luke Walton playing with more freedom and looseness on both ends of the floor. Young has largely benefited having a career rebirth through the first couple of weeks of the season averaging 14.2 points while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. He has scored in double figures in eight of the first 11 games played.
Another a major component to the Lakers’ early success is the play of the bench leading the league with 51.3 points per game, which is nearly six points higher than the next highest-scoring team. In fact, their bench has outscored the opposing second unit in all but one game. Although the playoffs are still a lofty goal, the Lakers are certainly trending in that direction.