After a year that has been mostly full of disappointments, the Philadelphia 76ers and head coach Doug Collins have received a lot of criticism for how the team has been managed over the past couple of weeks.
Collins has been ridiculed because he has continued to play semi-established players like Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young for significant minutes instead of giving young players, particularly rookie forward Arnett Moultrie, more experience, even though their season is essentially lost at this point.
Possibly in response to the criticism though, Collins has given Moultrie more time on the floor over the Sixers’ last three games. While averaging just 8.8 minutes per game for the season, Moultrie has played 20.3 minutes per game over the past three contests. He hasn’t been a revelation or anything, but he has shown a lot of promise in this opportunity.
Over this brief stretch, Moultrie is averaging 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. More importantly, Moultrie has shot 66.7 percent from the floor since he’s been getting minutes.
Probably the most impressive thing about those stats is that he’s been able to maintain pretty much the same level of production as when he was getting extremely limited opportunities. Many times, guys who play very few minutes have skewed per 36-minute stats because they know they only have to exert themselves for a short period of time. However, it appears that Moultrie’s stats were hardly skewed at all.
Moultrie is just 22-years old and still has a ton of development left to do before he gets a consistent large role in the NBA. However, now is the perfect time for him to get experience that will help him grow at the pro level, so it’s nice to finally see him get the opportunity to play decent minutes.
After all that Philadelphia has gone through this season, maybe Moultrie can be a silver lining to end on.