Lakers' Byron Scott eager to see how Nick Young handles slump

Lakers' Byron Scott eager to see how Nick Young handles slump
Lakers small forward Nick Young dribbles the ball during a 115-100 road loss to the Phoenix Suns earlier this season. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

The player known as "Swaggy P" has lost the swag in his game.

So is Lakers small forward Nick Young mentally tough enough to come out of his funk?

Lakers Coach Byron Scott is eager to see how his sixth man responds.

"He's got a battle on his hand with the way teams are playing him and it's not going good for him right now. So we'll find out how tough he is," Scott said after practice Monday.


In the three games Young played this month, he shot 28.6% from the field, 22.2% from three-point range and averaged 8.0 points per game.

January was also a miserable month for Young. In the 13 games he played, Young shot 32.2% from the field, 29.9% from three-point range and averaged 13.2 points.

Young did not speak to the media Monday, but he told reporters after a three-for-10 shooting effort Sunday against Cleveland that he was "psyching myself out."

"Nobody is against him," Scott said. "It's just the fact that he's not playing well. Like I said, we'll find out mentally if he's tough enough to handle that… you've just got to work harder. That's the biggest thing. That's the only way you're going to get out of it."

In practice Monday, Scott said, the coaching staff worked with Young on getting more movement on the court so he could get "the ball on the run as much as possible."

"But he has to understand that teams are trying to double-team him right now," Scott said. "They're trying to take away the one weapon that we do have in any pick-and-roll situation. So when they're doing that to him, he has to learn to just spread the floor, let them double, make the correct pass and then we have to attack them that way."

Searching for a win

The Lakers are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have lost 13 of their last 14 games.

Their last victory was a double-overtime win over Chicago on Jan. 29, and before that, the Lakers suffered a nine-game losing streak. So far in 2015 the Lakers' record is 3-16.

The Denver Nuggets, whom the Lakers face Tuesday at Staples Center, haven't fared much better, losing 12 of 13 games before they faced Oklahoma City on Monday night.

"Denver is in the same boat as we are. They are desperate for a win," Scott said.


Center Jordan Hill, who has sat out the last three games because of a hip flexor injury, will not play Tuesday, Scott said.


When: 7:30 p.m. PST, Tuesday.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes, TNT; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 13-38, Nuggets 19-32 before Monday.

Record vs. Nuggets: 1-1.

Update: Rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson continues to be a pleasant surprise for the Lakers. In his eight starts, Clarkson has averaged 13.8 points and 3.4 assists in 31.5 minutes per game. He had a career-high 20 points Sunday against Cleveland.

Twitter: @BA_Turner