Collins plans to use Thad Young off bench
Doug Collins is headed for Memphis, Tenn. this weekend where he will attend the wedding of his forward, Thaddeus Young. Yes, at age 24, Young is settling down and why not? Headed into his sixth NBA season, Young is now the longest tenured Sixer on the roster.
Additionally, only four players on the current roster have more NBA experience than Young. Meanwhile, they say coaches and teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites, but it’s tough for Collins to hide his affection for Young.
But when the Sixers line ‘em in the season opener against Denver on Oct. 31, expect Young to start the game on the bench.
“I’d like to continue to play Thad off the bench. I like his energy and his attitude he brings to us,” Collins said earlier this week when the team introduced Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.
Collins thought Young lacked a little extra pizzazz when the playoffs wound down last May. Young had trouble against the Bulls' big power forward Taj Gibson during the opening series and scuffled in a pair of games against the Celtics. Late in the regular season, Collins said Young lost a bunch of weight and that may have sapped some of his strength.
But from all reports, Young is having a good summer. With the addition of Bynum and Kwame Brown and the re-signing of Spencer Hawes, Young won’t have to spend as much time battling bigger players in the paint.
“From all the reports I got, he has his weight up to 229 pounds — he finished the season at 215,” Collins said. “The one thing with Thad is if you put him with a big guy that protects him, it makes him much better. So we think he’s going to be even better with Kwame and Andrew, who is going to be an even bigger help with the speed and quickness he plays with. Thad is going to be a big part of what we do.”E-mail John R. Finger at firstname.lastname@example.org