Thaddeus Young making a case for all-star nod

Thaddeus Young making a case for all-star nod
January 25, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Thaddeus Young is averaging 17.3 points per game and is shooting a career-best 34.3 percent from three-point range this season. (AP)

One definite all-star will be at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday evening when the Sixers host the Thunder. Whether Kevin Durant (sore right shoulder) is in uniform remains to be seen (see story).

Durant was the second-leading vote-getter behind LeBron James in the all-star voting, earning Durant his fifth all-star appearance. The top five vote-getters in each conference will be the starters in the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans.

Seven more all-stars will be named to each conference roster. The head coaches each vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Those players will be announced this Thursday.

Is there a fighting chance a Sixer gets an all-star nod this season?

An argument could be made for Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young or Spencer Hawes but of the three, Young seems to have the most support.

Young is averaging career-highs in points (17.3) and three-point shooting percentage (34.3). That begins the argument. But the fact that there are only five non-guards throughout the league who average at least 17 points shooting a minimal 48 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three -- and Young is one of them -- speaks to the growing versatility of his game.

Young keeps company with James, Durant, Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard. Howard really doesn’t belong in the company because he has attempted only five three-pointers and made two.

Hindering Young’s chances of being named an all-star is the fact that he plays for a team with just 14 wins.

Friday night, Raptors coach Dwayne Casey admitted if two players are equal he would vote for the one that is on a winning team.

Most coaches feel the same sentiments as Casey.

Brett Brown cannot vote for Young to be an all-star because the rules say no coach can pick his own player. But Brown believes Young deserves consideration from coaches around the league.

“I think you would have to,” Brown said. “How about the job he did on Carmelo [28 points not 62] the other night and what he has done from the three-point line and what he did on the West Coast trip [averaged 26 points] and how he has strung some really good stretches together?

“He, along with Evan and Spencer, have carried the youngest team in the history of the NBA, so I say how can you not?”

Brown is right about the consideration Young deserves, but Chris Bosh, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Al Jefferson and possibly Luol Deng are Young’s frontcourt competition.

Jrue Holiday was the Sixers' lone all-star last season. The year before, Andre Iguodala was the clear-cut best player on the division-leading Sixers in 2012.

Young’s name being called on Thursday is more up in the air than Iguodala in 2012, but he isn’t fretting over the outcome.

“The main focus right now is getting wins,” Young said. “If that happens I would be honored and that would be a great thing, but right now we are just trying to win as many games as possible and just trying to figure out how to do that.”