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Lakers compare Nick Young’s defense to Bruce Bowen, Kawhi Leonard

Nick Young
Associated Press

Known for being a sharpshooter from beyond the three-point line, Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young has made a living with his scoring prowess. But for his teammates, there is another area where he’s very good at, and he can be compared to the ones who play it the best.

In a post-practice interview on Sunday, Larry Nance Jr. said Young’s defense can give past Defensive Player of the Year awardees a run for their money:

“We keep calling him Bruce Bowen, the Glove (Gary Payton), Kawhi [Leonard] and all those guys. In the same breath you can say all those guys and Nick Young.

“It’s kind of a team joke, but it’s fun because he’s been picking it up, he’s really been getting after it and it’s fun to see that.”

His head coach, Luke Walton, likened his defense to the player Kobe Bryant acknowledged as the one who guarded him the best.

“I told him he shoots like Tony Allen. I don’t know if he defends like Tony Allen.”

But after a lot of trade rumors he’s been linked to, it now appears that he’ll remain a Laker, especially given the improvement of his game this preseason. The amount of work he has put in this summer has not gone unnoticed as Walton had nothing but good words for his work ethic and how he plays defense.

“He’s earned playing time. He’s been phenomenal throughout training camp and preseason games. “I think we all know he’ll score the ball, but the thing that I’ve said has been most impressive is the way he’s been defending people.”

If Young can prove that he can be a consistent ball-stopper when defending the elite two-guards of the league, it will be a huge contribution to the Lakers who are hoping to speed up their rebuilding process.

With his already reliable outside sniping, he can get more playing playing time if he further develops his defensive skills and transform his game from being a pure scorer to a better two-way player.

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