Before facing off against the Atlanta Hawks on Sun. Nov. 3, head coach Mike D'Antoni chose to mix things up by making a major change to the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers. D'Antoni chose to start Xavier Henry and have Nick Young come off the bench. The change has inspired Young to achieve a certain goal by at season's end according to Lakers Nation's Serena Winters via Twitter:
Someone brought up 6th man of the Year to Nick Young, all smiles, he said "That's my goal"
Once D'Antoni announced that Henry would start and Young would come off the bench, backlash was expected from the NBA veteran. Although Young didn't express it publicly, many anticipated Young to be angry with the decision, but has seemingly embraced the fact he'll be coming off the bench from now on.
Fortunately for D'Antoni and company, Young seems content with coming off the bench and striving to become the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. After Sunday's against the Hawks, it seems as though Young might have a shot at the regular season award if able to continue playing consistently well for the Lakers off the bench.
Ultimately, Young as the go-to sixth man for the Lakers makes a lot of sense. Young has made a career out of being an offensive spark in a reserve role and was expected to have that role in Los Angeles once signed by the team.
With Kobe Bryant returning in a few weeks, the rotation will be changed once again with the five-time NBA champion starting at shooting guard. Henry may still be used in the lineup at small forward if he continues to play well, but another drastic change may be on the horizon in order to compliment the Kobe dynamic.
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