The Wizards will soon start touting Nick Young for the league's most improved player award, and Young has definitely stepped up his game in his fourth season.
His average of 17.3 points per game -- a team high -- is by far the best of his career. He has become the top scoring option on a team that last summer added the top pick in the draft.
But as things have gotten progressively worse for the Wizards, Young's job as the team's No. 1 offensive option hasn't gotten any easier as of late.
In the past 10 games, Young has shot better than 44 percent from the field only twice. In the Wizards' Friday loss to Orlando, a team adept at shutting down scorers, Young was just 7-for-20 from the field. He followed that up with a 7-for-17 effort against Atlanta.
"It's tough because if I get past one guy, the next guy is right there. That's something I got to learn. I've got to pick up more, watch film," Young said. "Like (Wizards assistant Sam Cassell) said, 'If you want to be the man, you got to take what comes with it. It's a lot that comes with it, but I'm preparing myself well for it.'"
Unfortunately for Young, he's not going to get much relief from his teammates. The Wizards are a bad team, and he would be the No. 3 player, at best, on a good team. So there will be no rest for the weary.
HAWKS 99, WIZARDS 92: The Wizards dropped their season-high eighth game in a row Saturday night. Atlanta's Josh Smith finished with a game-high 29 points and pulled down a season-high 16 rebounds for the Hawks, who played without injured center Al Horford. Nick Young led the Wizards with 21 points. Washington's poor free-throw shooting (8-for-18) played a key role in the loss.
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