The Los Angeles Lakers will certainly be a different team this season, with the addition of many new faces in the roster, however, there are still some familiar faces from last season, which remained with the team—and of them is their shooting guard Xavier Henry.
Coming into last season, we all thought Henry would blossom to a key contributor for the team—he was quite impressive during the preseason games where he averaged 11 points per game and more notably, scored 29 points in the first game versus the Golden State Warriors.
Now heading into his second season with the Lakers with his wrist all healed up (I hope), the 23-year-old guard out of Kansas will have another opportunity to establish himself in the league. He played 45 games last season, and tallied least 10 points 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists a game—which is quite promising for the Lakers. This 6-foot-6 guard definitely has a lot of potential left in him and he could still learn a lot from veterans such as Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash to further develop his game. Looking at his strengths, his athleticism and speed are quite an advantage for his size, as he’s able to aggressively penetrate the defense with consistency and with just a little bit more of effort and practice, he’ll become a huge annoyance for opposing teams.
Clearly, the Lakers desperately need all the help they can get out of their players next season, if they want to contend for a playoff spot. Henry will most probably be coming off the bench together with Nick Young and Julius Randle for new head coach Byron Scott. Those three guys can confidently light up the crowd anytime they want, while Nash, Kobe and the other starters take their needed rest.
If Henry does have a breakout year, which I strongly believe he will—then the Lakers will have a bigger chance in competing for that 7th or 8th spot in the west, and for sure, it’ll be really fun watching their games.