It seems like whatever the situation; high post, 1-2 pick and roll, low post, baseline swings, off-ball screens or what have you, Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers seemed to be the man in every sense of the word.
The 76ers fell to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-109 in a nail-biting loss on Saturday night in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. The 7-6 76ers go on a two-game losing-streak after also falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the week and the Thunder finish at 10-4.
Aside from the losing effort on the 76ers part, it was a career night for their starting power forward, Thaddeus Young.
Thad finished with a career-high 29 points while shooting 13-for-23, dishing 4 assists, and a much-needed 15 rebounds finishing with a double-double effort for the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.
“We had some guys (Evan, Thad) play great games,” Coach Doug Collins said speaking to the media. “Our guys fought, competed and played great.”
The 6-foot-8, 235 lb combo forward was tremendous from start to finish but just couldn’t do enough to help the 76ers pull away a victory from the former Western Conference Champion Thunder.
Aiding Thad, Sixers forward Evan Turner also finished with 26 points, shooting 10-for-17 and pulling down 5 rebounds in the game. Whenever Thad wasn’t scoring, Turner took over.
Young was virtually all over the floor offensively and defensively whenever it matter for the 76ers against the Thunder. In the 2011-2012 NBA regular season, Young was thought of as one of the best sixth men in the NBA, whereas now, he’s fully solidifying himself as a legitimate starter within his own division and the Eastern Conference.
Young finished the 1st Quarter nearing ten points and rebounds and then exploded when necessary the rest of the contest to silence the regulation hopes of the Thunder.
Every time Thad touched the floor, he averaged a positive team net points (+5) while streaking in the 76ers jersey.
Thad initiated a difference in play for the Sixers against the Thunder on Saturday night. The Sixers contended with the 2nd highest scoring team in the NBA after, the Sixers themselves, have struggled as of late from the floor as a team.
“When you give guys, a lot of looks a lot of open looks, they finally notice it and start knocking those down,” Young said to Comcast Sports Net’s Dei Lynam.
However, the 76ers just couldn’t contend with the Thunder, a team who shoots the best in the league from the free-throw-line, and one of the better teams getting multiple attempts from the charity strike.
Without the help of the guard Jrue Holiday offensively, the team struggled at time from the field. Jrue did help in his own way though. Holiday finished by completing an NBA first-half record in assists to pave the way for the boys in blue.
Although the 76ers faced a disappointing loss to the Thunder, this has to go down as one of the best games the soldiers on South Broad have played so far in a very short season. With increased play from Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner when possible, the 76ers will continue to threaten more powerful teams not only in the Eastern Conference, but also in the entire NBA.
7-6 for the Sixers has never looked so good.
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