2014 Player Capsule: Xavier Henry
BY THE NUMBERS:
15 – More three-pointers made for Henry during the 2013-14 season than in his previous three years combined with Memphis and New Orleans, despite missing 39 games to injury.
22 – Points for Henry in his first regular-season game as a Laker – a team high – as he led the Purple and Gold to an opening night win over the Clippers. His season high of 29 came on Dec. 1 vs. Portland.
77 – Made field goals from less than five feet and in, more than half of Henry’s 144 total makes coming around the rim.
A question mark to make the team in training camp, Henry burst onto the Lakers scene with a 29-point performance in the preseason opener and ultimately became a regular rotation player when healthy. That was only for half of the season, however, as the fourth-year wing missed a total of 39 games. A slasher who shot the three well early in the season (40.9 percent in November, 34.6 percent for the year) Henry had begun to expand his game into a de-facto playmaking role in December with L.A.’s top three point guards injured. But he suffered a bone bruise in his right knee on Dec. 29 that would plague him throughout the rest of the season. Henry missed nearly two months, experiencing multiple setbacks trying to get back onto the court, then tore a ligament in his wrist in late March. He sat out the final eight contests of the season due to a combination of those ailments. Prior to the knee injury, the swingman had been playing some of his best basketball, averaging 12.5 points and recording double figures in scoring in 10 of 13 December contests. Among his strengths was an elite ability to get to the basket, something he showed on a consistent basis throughout the season, as highlighted by his 77 of 144 field goals coming around the rim. Henry underwent successful surgery on April 11 and is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.
IN HIS WORDS:
(On trying to play through injuries to finish the year): "I'm obviously not 100 percent, but I am going to push the most out of it I can for these last games and try to help the team win. All I can do is try my best and that’s all I am going to do. I wasn't going to quit on my guys. I love playing in this system with his team and with our coaches. I'm going to try and make it last as long as I can. I'm having fun and I'm going to continue to have fun.”
by Trevor Wong