Thaddeus Young has started a total of two games over the previous two years but it looks like he will be in the starting lineup when the Sixers open their season Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center.
In an email response today coach Doug Collins said as things stand now, the starters will be Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Jason Richardson, Young and Lavoy Allen.
While Young has provided so much energy and offense off the bench, the Sixers have a number of players who can fill that role, specifically Nick Young and Dorell Wright.
Nick Young will play the role of Lou Williams, providing instant offense and Collins said he can’t go extended minutes without getting shots. Wright will offer another perimeter threat and underrated driver to the basket, but he more well-rounded game and will help at both ends of the court.
Collins likes the way Thaddeus Young and Allen play together. Who is to say when Andrew Bynum comes back if Young won’t return to the bench?
Over the last two years when 143 of his 145 appearances came off the bench, Young averaged 12.7 and 12.8 points per game while shooting 54 percent from the field two seasons ago and 50.7 last year.
Young’s ability to thrive in the transition game and beat power forwards down the court, is one reason why he gives the Sixers so much energy.
Yet would it be such a bad thing if this happened at the beginning of the game?
The only problem with him starting is that the Sixers would have one of the smallest lineups in the league.
So it will be interesting how well they rebound with the starting unit.
One thing is for sure, Young is considered one of the critical members of the team and regardless of his status as a starter, he should be in at the end of many games.
And as far as somebody who can pick up the pace off the bench, another person to watch is rookie Maalik Waayns, the fastest Sixer.
So a second unit of Wayns, Nick Young, Dorell Wright, Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown, seems more than representative.
We’ve said all along Collins’ most difficult task this year will be appropriating playing time. There aren’t enough minutes for everybody, so how the players handle this will be a key whether the Sixers can translate their preseason success into the regular season.
Thaddeus Young will be a major contributor regardless, and there is no reason why he couldn’t give the same spark to the team whether he’s starting of coming off the bench.