Thaddeus Young was an opportunistic scorer the last couple years, paying attention to the ball coming off the rim and going to grab it or using his speed to get an easy deuce in transition.
In the Doug Collins coaching era, Young was a combined 8 for 34 from three-point range over three seasons. That was by choice -- his coach’s choice.
“Coach Collins didn’t really want me shooting a lot of threes,” Young explained. “He wanted me to be that inside guy who could dig out garbage points and hustle plays and things like that. He wanted me to be his opportunity scorer.
Brett Brown still wants Young to find sniff out those gritty points. He also wants the seven-year forward to expand his range.
“The other night he made three. Last year, he made two all season,” Brown said. “That is quite a statistic. It is not right or wrong because every coach has different philosophies in mind, but with him I think he can be different in that regard if he can start adding that to his game.”
“This gives me a chance to expand my game out to what it was the first couple years,” Young said. “Back then I was mixing it up outside inside, but this is just a good opportunity.”
In Young’s second and third years in the NBA, he made 104 of 302 shot attempts from behind the arc (34 percent).
Not only was there a different philosophy about shooting the three-pointer under Collins, but the former Sixers coach had different personnel that included Jodie Meeks, Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday -- all more prolific long-range shooters than Young.
Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner also took a piece of that three-point pie.
Fast forward to this rebuilding season the Sixers are in the midst of and you'll see a starting five that is not known for outside shooting.
To date, Michael Carter-Williams has the most made threes on the Sixers with 10, while Spencer Hawes has nine.
Young is 3 for 8 from behind the arc. All three of those makes came in the Sixers' win over the Wizards in Washington last week.
“Thaddeus is so unusual because it is not like he is going apples for apples against power four men,” Brown said. “He is an undersized four and maybe a three. With us he is a four because of the makeup of our team and so you say to yourself 'how do I get an advantage out of that?' And to me it is his speed and the fact that he can shoot threes.”
The beauty of Young is no matter what he is asked or how often that changes, he finds a way to answer the bell without a complaint.
“He is so compliant and does whatever you ask of him,” Brown said. “He is a good teammate, he is a good person. And this year we have empowered him to look for that type of shot.”