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NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Thaddeus Young’s Return Encouraging Development for Philadelphia 76ers

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

A left hamstring strain kept Thaddeus Young out of the lineup for almost three weeks. He returned Sunday but it wasn’t enough for the Philadelphia 76ers in a 99-93 NBA loss to the New York Knicks.

But for the Sixers, struggling with a five-game losing streak, it’s not a bad idea having Young and others struggling with injuries back in the lineup.

Young played for almost 36 minutes and shot 5-of-12 from the floor for 11 points and led his team in rebounding with 10 boards, including seven on the defensive end.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Young to be as physically healthy as possible for the 76ers to end the season strong. This five-game losing streak has basically eliminated their playoff hopes. But Young showed some promise and that’s especially what the 76ers have to focus on right now.

For the season, Young is averaging 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

It’s been his best scoring season since 2008-09 when he averaged 1.53 points per game. He’s had one of his better shooting seasons with 52.2 percent from the floor. He is having the worst free-throw shooting accuracy of his career at 57 percent. But Young is being a better defensive rebounder for the Sixers with 5.2 defensive boards per game compared to 3.3 for his career average. His assists and steals totals are up.

Overall, the 76ers are definitely in better shape if Thaddeus Young stays healthy.