Thad Young honored after best week of career

Thad Young honored after best week of career
January 6, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Thaddeus Young has scored 30 points in three of his last six games. (AP)

Thaddeus Young was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for his play from Dec. 30-Jan. 5, when the Sixers went 3-0 with all three wins coming on the road.

He averaged a conference-best 25.0 points on 56.6 percent shooting from the field (ninth in the conference), 7.7 rebounds, and tied for the league lead with 3.67 steals.

When asked if this is as good a stretch of basketball he can recall playing, Young answered with a smile.

"Yes, this is the best stretch I recall having since I have been in the league," he said. "I think it is just being confident, going out there and having fun and not worrying about anything and just focusing in on the game."

Young's teammates acknowledge that what he is doing is as good as anything any player in the league is doing for his team.

"I think Thad is playing at as high a level as anyone in the league right now," said Spencer Hawes, now in his fourth season as Young's teammate. "We just have to keep doing our job of keep finding him and keep winning."

"My teammates are finding me on great spots on the court," Young said. "They find where I like the basketball and like to play with the basketball. Other than that I am just going out there, hustling and putting in the hard work and just playing."

Young's increased productivity coincides with reports becoming public that he had asked to be traded -- reports he vehemently denied. He insists the two are not connected but it is hard to ignore that Young has scored 25 or more points in six of his last seven games, including three 30-point performances.

Prior to this stretch the last time Young scored 30 or more was March 7, 2010.

"If you say I can't do this and that, I am going to go out there and try and prove everyone wrong," Young said confidently, not cocky. "Actually, I like all the talk and trade rumors. That drives me and motivates me. It makes me keep working harder each and every day.

"Regardless of how anything goes I am going to try and outwork my opponent and be the best on the court at all times. Like I said, I am one of those guys that wants to work on his craft and be great at his craft. Hopefully I can reach my potential."

He may have already done that; sustaining that new level of success is Young's next challenge. He certainly did that last week and over the past seven games.

David Lee of the Golden State Warriors joined Young as the Western Conference Player of the Week.