During the Los Angeles Lakers' close Wednesday night loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, a lot of people were forced to become aware of something that has been a reality for most of the year: Nick Young has actually played fairly well on defense this season. Perhaps it is just that he is being compared to guys like Lou Williams and Marcelo Huertas (whose respective defensive styles can be best be described as "literally a chair might be better" and "how are his ankles not actually broken yet"), but Young appears to be showing improved effort, skill, and effectiveness on that end of the floor.
Young was asked by reporters after the loss about a key stop he and D'Angelo Russell had of the Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins, and Young, who has never been one to miss an opportunity to (somewhat jokingly) pump up his own accomplishments, delivered. He doesn't just want credit for improvement, he wants to be named Defensive Player of the Year:
Somehow this is not the first time Young has asked to be named DPOY. At the Lakers' media day prior to last season Young told the media ""I might win MVP, or try to go for 6th man of the year, or most improved or defensive player of the year. I got robbed last year." Last November, Young told Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News ""the Defensive Player of the Year is here today and he'll be here Tuesday," when he returned to the Lakers' lineup from injury.
The lesson: Nick Young REALLY wants to win Defensive Player of the Year.