Stock Up: Xavier Henry
The preseason darling, Xavier Henry still had to prove that he could hang when the games had more meaning. He hasn’t missed a step early on this season. His 22 points on opening night led all Lakers in scoring. The following game, his 14 points were tied for most on the team. His performance Friday night was stunted by a freak injury resulting in 9 stitches on his forehead.
Most encouraging about Henry is his ability to get to the rim. Against reserves and bench warmers in the preseason, his drives to the rim were encouraging, but not taken seriously. But we saw in the fourth quarter Tuesday night that Henry could break down starters and get to the rim. He absolutely MUST improve his free throw shooting, as his woeful 12 for 23 (52.7%) shooting from the line is stunting his development and effectiveness even more. His play-making ability also would be a welcome improvement, especially with his ability to drive to the rim.