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Keys To The Palace: Where Nick Young Makes His Case As The Wizards' Best Scorer

Right now, Nick Young is fourth on the team in points per game, coming through with a career-high 11.8 points per game so far this season, but the case can certainly be made that Young is at least the most efficient, if not the best scoring option the Wizards have this season.

Young is averaging 20.2 points per 36 minutes, highest on the team. More importantly, he's leading the team without increasing his usage and lowering his turnovers. His effective field goal percentage right now stands at 56.6 percent, good enough for the ninth best percentage among all guards this season and the 22nd best in the league as a whole.

Sure, John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and maybe even Andray Blatche are guys who you want with the ball most of the time, because they can hurt you with the score and the pass more effectively. But so far this season, there hasn't been a player who has put the ball in the bucket better than Nick Young.

After the jump, we'll hand out the rest of the Palace keys and find out who was a turkey this week.

Keys to the Palace

Player Week 5 PER Week 4 PER Difference Comment
Nick Young 17.7 15.7 2 Remarkably, Young avoided a negative plus/minus in every game this week, including Thursday's 20 point loss to Atlanta. He averaged 20 points per game this week, while only averaging one turnover.
Alonzo Gee 15.1 N/A N/A It didn't take long for Gee to get back into rhythm after his summer swing with the Spurs. He provided all the stuffing against the Magic, going for 8 points, 7 rebounds (5 on the offensive glass), 4 steals, 2 assists and a block in 30 minutes. He may not have the stuff to crack the rotation of a true contender, but he still has plenty of value on a team that will take all the young talent it can find.
JaVale McGee 19.5 18.9 0.6 It's a good thing McGee got in such an amazing performance against the Sixers (24 points, 18 rebounds) because there's no way he could sustain that against Al Horford and Dwight HowardAs Samuel Chamberlain noted, he's come a long way, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. 


Guest Passes

Player Week 5 PER Week 4 PER Difference Comment
John Wall 18.8 18.5 0.3 It's hard to take too much from this week for Wall, as he made his return from injury against Philadelphia and proceeded to get injured again when he faced Atlanta. It's a shame because he really could have been the difference between a moral victory and an actual victory against the Magic on Saturday.
Gilbert Arenas 15.3 14 1.3 When John Wall isn't in the game, Arenas has shown he can still score in the same ways he did in his prime. Against Orlando, he set a season high in free throw attempts (14) and points (31). I'll still take his more efficient three point shooting and fewer turnovers that come with playing alongside Wall, but it's nice to see he's still got it.
Trevor Booker 8.4 9.7 -1.3 Booker continues to get minutes with Yi on the shelf, and has shown some good signs. Through 35 minutes of play this week, he finished with a plus/minus of -2 (ironically, the -2 came against the Sixers, he was even against Atlanta and Orlando). His shooting percentages and rebounds are a little below what you'd like, but his defensive efforts are keeping him on the floor while the rest of his game catches up.
Andray Blatche 13.9 14.2 -0.3 Blatche struggled against Atlanta, only going for 12 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes, thanks in part to being poked in the eye on a put back. But he showed some good resillience against the Magic, going for a double-double and chipping in four assists and two blocks in the near upset.
Cartier Martin 14.2 14.9 -0.7 Even with the addition of Alonzo Gee, Martin still got a 5-10 minute chunk of playing time throughout the week. He's filling his role just about as well as you could ask, but would it be too much to ask for an assist? I realize his role doesn't call on him to distribute the ball much, but still, he hasn't notched an assist all season.


Locked Out

Player Week 5 PER Week 4 PER Difference Comment
Kirk Hinrich 12.9 13.9 -1 Mike has already gone over the issues with the three-guard lineup in detail, but you really see the issues when you look at Hinrich's numbers against Atlanta. In 25 minutes of action, he only had one rebound and one assists. He serves valiantly guarding players who overmatch him physically, but Hinrich needs to be put in better positions to help the team, whether it comes as a starter or off the bench. 
Hilton Armstrong 10.2 11 -0.8 After some solid play, over the last few weeks, Armstrong fell back to earth against some stiffer competition this week. Finishing -15 in 24 minutes of burn is no way to earn a spot at the Thanksgiving feast at the palace.


NOTE: Yi Jianlian and Josh Howard were not included in this week's Keys to the Palace because they did not receive playing time. Hamady Ndiaye and Al Thornton were excluded because they played less than 10 minutes this week.