The journey through the 2012 Playoffs for Philadelphia exposed the team’s sore needs for a reliable scorer to help them stay in games. I’m not here to say Nick Young is the answer, but he’s one of the few weapons the Sixers added during the offseason that can make a difference.
The loss of Elton Brand’s smooth inside shot isn’t all so bad when you look at how much the big guy was making. The Sixers really took a hit this summer when Louis Williams signed with Atlanta a few days after Philly’s acquisition of Young. With most of the star free agents signed, the Sixers appear to be set for another season of mediocrity. Unless Philadelphia strikes a sudden mega-trade or somehow finds a way to consistently score the ball on offense.
Let’s face it– the Sixers haven’t been able to reliably find some scoring since the days of Allen Iverson. It’s been a struggle to watch them put up dismal numbers on offense. During the playoffs last season, they portrayed how bad it can really get; charting a total of just 26 points heading into halftime of game 5 during the Chicago series.
Philadelphia’s 1-year signing of Nick Young for $6 million was probably one of their best decisions in what’s mostly a quiet summer for the team. Young is coming off his fifth year in the league, averaging 14.2 points the previous season. Before getting traded to the Clippers last season, he earned his starting spot in Washington and was averaging 16.6 points a night.
Nick Young possesses many strengths on offense that should mix well with athletic swingmen such as Andre Igoudala and Thaddeus Young. The The Sixers will enter the new season without both Jodie Meeks and Louis Williams, allowing more playing time for young and the developing Evan Turner.
Curiousity is all that surrounds the Sixers’ fan-base at this point. After re-signing Spencer Hawes and giving Kwame Brown a chance in their front court, Philadelphia will have some more work ahead of them inside the paint. The rookie additions of Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie will add some more size and athleticism, but it will take some time before these players can make a difference for this group.
Heading into the new season, the Sixers will ride behind Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner and Nick Young to find some scoring. Young has shown several shades of becoming a primitive scorer throughout the years, but remains inconsistent heading into his sixth season. He’s got a career shooting percentage of 43% from the field and can create his own shot through his combination of size and quickness.
The Sixers have a group of young players that are all willing to share the ball just to find some positives on offense. Young will have a healthy share of opportunities to make a name for himself in this city, and you best bet he will excel behind the coaching of Doug Collins to find a fit in this team for years to come.