Sixers Notes: Heat see Sixers' Young as a threat

Posted: April 28, 2011

MIAMI - No player better epitomizes the 76ers than reserve forward Thaddeus Young. He's fast, scrappy, and hardworking. And through the first two games of this series - both Miami victories - Young was a crucial piece of the team's offense. He scored 20 points in Game 1 and 18 in Game 2.

"It stunned us," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Young's speed before Wednesday's Game 5 at AmericanAirlines Arena. "And since then we've made an adjustment on him, but he's going to keep on coming so we have to bring it."

In Games 3 and 4, Young scored only six points combined on 2-for-12 shooting from the floor.

Is Young OK with this diminished offensive role?

"It's OK, but I have to find some type of way to get myself more involved into the games," Young said. "I've been trying to, but when I see two or three guys I'm not going to try to beat a double team; so I just pass out."

Shining moment

When the Sixers locker room opened before Game 5, a pull-down screen was showing the final minute of Sunday afternoon's victory over the Heat.

Sixers rookie Evan Turner was sitting in front of his locker absorbing the sequence of events: He hits a runner along the baseline, point guard Jrue Holiday drains a three-pointer, reserve guard Lou Williams drops the game-winning three from the top of the key, and then Turner seals the game with two free throws.

Like a sucker punch, the Sixers came from behind and dropped the Heat during Game 4's upset victory. They extended the series a game longer than most expected.

The Sixers gave themselves every chance to repeat the performance. While the Heat returned to Miami on Monday and took the day off, Sixers coach Doug Collins called his guys into practice so he could keep them from getting "intoxicated" by one victory.

"Sometimes what happens is if you let guys go away for a day, you let them have that 24 hours and the parade starts: 'Oh what a great job you did,' " Collins said before Game 5. "We won one game - we have more in mind."

Another gear

When asked if Collins was worried about Miami "finding another gear" and "turning serious" now that this series had gone longer than four games - kind of like the Los Angeles Lakers did in their series against the New Orleans Hornets - Collins bristled.

"Well, I mean there's no question they're incredibly talented, but I would have to think they've been pretty serious since they've played us," Collins said.


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at kfagan@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/DeepSixer3, and read her blog, Deep Sixer, on Philly.com

 

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