Since Dbods made a post about Andre Iguodala, I figure it's only fair to give proper defense and respect to my favorite swingman. With the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft, we selected the 19 year old freshman out of Georgia Tech not knowing what to expect. We knew he was a kid that had knack around the bucket, but was a pretty poor outside shooter.
What we didn't know and what continued to evolve(yes, evolve) was Thaddeus Young's isolation skills. Which I find remarkable. If you put Young in the low-block, to the mid or high post. Your going to succeed. Young can pretty much score from anywhere on the floor. And on a team like the Sixers with so few scorers, I value what Thaddeus Young brings on the offensive end.
But not only was Thaddeus Young able to get to the bucket, we saw a developing mid-range and outside game. If Thad missed the 3 ball, surely it would go in the second time. He was about an average 3pt shooter, but for this team that's a major improvement. I will never forget March of 2008. It was the best month of his career, and by far he was our best player. He was scoring 20 PTS like it was nothing. The way he silently yet explosively dominated the game.
We saw some of that this season, but we also saw some troubles. To be precise, Eddie Jordan whose ship has thankfully sailed destroyed this team in a matter of six months. And Thad was one of the victims. In Eddie Jordan's nonexistent Princeton Offense, Young was made to be some kind of shooter. That didn't work. Then we moved Thad to the 4. Uh, no. Like Dbods said, he's 20 pounds underweight and somehow the entire team's perimeter defense regressed even further then the past 2 years.
Then he moved Thad to the bench. Mixed results, but when Thad Young was playing well this year. He was doing what he did last year. He had the ball in his hands, he attacked the post, he drove to the bucket. He made plays.
Despite all of Young's troubles and inconsistencies, he averaged roughly the same 15/5 he did last year.(13.8/5.2) on 47% shooting. Not bad, just not the pure awesome Thad Young was a couple of years ago.
Then there's the "defense". Quite frankly, I'm more forgiving on Thad Young here then probably most if not all. There's Team Defense and Individual Defense. And as far as Individual defense is concerned, Thad Young has shown great strength defending the post at times. He's long at 6'8 and he has those leaky arms. There's no doubt that if emphasis is put on it. Thad will be at an above-average defensive level.
It's Team Defense where Thad Young struggles. 19 year old defensive stud Jrue Holiday said it best: They should be manning up with their athletic trio of Holiday, Iggy, Young. Why the needless doubles and rotations?
It puts this team out of position defensively and THAT leads to the open 3pt shots. We have capable defenders. They were capable last year. We let Howard go off and stayed with their shooters. It worked(surprisingly, OMFG, Orgasm). Eddie Jordan enforced, on a much higher level the same mistakes that prone this team defensively.
Thad was doomed from the start in a system of "protect the paint"(where they failed to even accomplish that task).
Frankly, a coach that emphasizes MAN-on-man defense should be hired. A Coach that's going to get the most out of Holiday/Iguodala/Young and their athleticism on the defensive end.
But I have not given up on Thaddeus Young. If the worst I get is 13/5 on 47% shooting, sign me up.