By far the most flabbergasting aspect of the Los Angeles Lakers’ phoenix-level renaissance this season is the spectacular play of Nick Young. On Tuesday night against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Young added to his ridiculous start with a game-winning 3-pointer and a celebration paying homage to D’Angelo Russell.
With the Lakers trailing 109-108, Young intercepted a pass intended for Lou Williams — yes, his Lakers teammate, for whom the play was originally drawn up — and knocked down what ended up as the game-winning 3:
(Quick aside: I am the world’s foremost officiating apologist, but that’s traveling. Even I can’t argue that Young is still gathering as he takes the first two or three steps. The reverse angle seems to show that Young catches the ball cleanly and establishes possession fairly quickly, so you can’t even argue he was bobbling the ball. Given the situation that arose, though, I’m glad it wasn’t called. Sorry, Thunder fans.)
That pratfall-turned-miracle was the first game winner of Young’s career, and he reacted with teammate D’Angelo Russell’s "ice in my veins" celebration:
It’s truly remarkable how far the young Lakers have come already under coach Luke Walton. Who could have thought we’d see Young and Russell on the same page — or that this Los Angeles squad would make a real playoff push in the first year of the post-Kobe era?