The two dominant story lines covered throughout the 2012-13 NBA season regarding the Philadelphia 76ers have been the absence of Andrew Bynum and the emergence of Jrue Holiday in Bynum’s absence. Bynum has been quite the polarizing figure and the praise of Holiday has been unquestionably warranted. However, these two things have overshadowed how good Thaddeus Young has been for the 76ers this year.
Young has started all 64 games that he’s appeared in for Philadelphia this season and has averaged 35.1 minutes per game. He’s also having a career-year statistically, averaging 15.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game, all of which are career-highs for Young. For good measure he is also shooting a fantastic 52.7 percent from the field.
His numbers this year definitely have warranted more attention than he’s received this season. However, Young deserves even more acclaim for what he’s done over the month of March.
When news broke several weeks ago that Bynum would be out for the entire season, the energy seemed to leave this 76ers team. The energy, effort and general performance of the team pretty much plummeted. Young has been almost the only exception to that, though, which really should go to his credit that he hasn’t thrown in the towel.
In the 15 games that he’s played in the month of March, Young has averaged fewer minutes, seeing the floor for 33.6 minutes per night. Remarkably, though, his statistical output has improved in March. For the month he’s averaged 16.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and two steals per game and has shot a superb 57.2 percent from the field. That undoubtedly deserves a tip of the cap.
As Philadelphia debates and mulls over its future, specifically what they are going to do with Bynum, Young definitely should be part of the equation that stays with the team. At just 24 years old, Young has shown that he has the ability to produce on a consistent basis and that he’s the type of player that will always give maximum effort. That’s the type of player they need in Philadelphia.