The Greening Of Thaddeus Young

Fact: Thaddeus Young, in just his second season, is the 76ers' No. 2 scoring option, after Elton Brand and before Andre Iguodala.

Fact: Young is, through the first 10 games of the season, the Sixers' leading scorer.

Given Young's rapid ascension, a reporter the other day asked coach Maurice Cheeks whether he could forsee, in perhaps a couple of seasons, Young as the No. 1 option.

''Is Elton Brand still here?'' Cheeks asked.

Cheeks, though, gave it a little more thought and said: "I hear what you guys are saying, (that) if he continues to blossom and go the way he's going, then you have to maybe look in a different direction. But right now, I like the way (Young) is playing. He's feeding off a lot of guys, and a lot of guys are feeding off him. He's just a basketball player, very knowledgable, that wants to learn, and he's very receptive to teaching.''

I suggest this: Young is clearly the team's most improved player, and still has a ton of upside. But he's the leading scorer through 10--count 'em, 10--games. At this point, he has no idea about the weight of attempting to do this through the grind of an 82-game schedule. And that's OK, because as long as he continues to provide the same level of energy he can impact the games in various other aspects. And as long as he's doing that, Cheeks can focus on ways to more effectively incorporate Brand, Iguodala and--perhaps the most difficult of all--Samuel Dalembert.

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