Young downplays concerns from Collins

Posted: April 04, 2012

MIAMI - In the old movie "Cool Hand Luke," there's a famous line that goes: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

The 76ers appear to have that problem between coach Doug Collins and forward Thaddeus Young.

Collins has spoken for the past couple of weeks of how worn down Young has appeared. In Saturday's win over the Atlanta Hawks, Young played only 20 minutes, 39 seconds, scoring only four points and not getting a rebound.

Tuesday, after the team's shootaround at American Airlines Arena, Young laughed when asked about his health and about his coach's assessment of his health.

"I'm fine, I'm good," said Young, showing his trademark smile. "I keep telling coach I'm fine but he keeps telling me I'm worn down. I know how my body feels. I'm good. Coach says that I'm worn down, so I can't change what he's thinking. All I can do is go out there and keep continuing to play and not worry about what coach is thinking about being worn down. I'm just going to continue to play, continue to stay healthy and be great."

Moments before Young answered questions, Collins reiterated his desire to keep Young's minutes down for now, so as not to wear him out even more.

"I try to keep away from putting him in the game too early, that's what I try to do," Collins said. "With Spencer [Hawes] able to play his minutes, now I can get to that 3- or 4-minute mark without having to go to Thad and I think that's important. He reminds me of [former Sixer] Bobby Jones that way. Bobby was geared to play X number of minutes, and if he didn't play the first 8 of the game or the first 8 of the third, then he only had 32 minutes left, and I just think for Thad, we have to keep him fresh. He's so important to what we do. When he's active defensively and getting out on the break, he gets us easy scores, and we so need him. I'm hoping this sunshine is going to revitalize all of us down here."

Young laughed it off when told his coach had brought up keeping his minutes reduced.

"I can clearly see he's been doing that. At the end of the day, I'm going to do what the team needs me to do. When my name is called, I go out there and play my hardest each and every day. If coach wants to watch my minutes, then so be it; it's for the well-being of the team. I can't say anything about it. I can only keep saying 'Coach, I'm fine, I'm good.' "

Hawes a full go

The minute limitations put on starting center Spencer Hawes have been lifted. He had been restricted to playing only 6-minute intervals upon his return from missing 27 of 29 games with a strained Achilles' and was not allowed to perform in back-to-back games.

Now, Hawes now has no restrictions on his playing time.

"The only thing now is to be careful on back-to-backs," Hawes said. "That's what the doctor said and be wary on back-to-back nights. I trust the coaching staff. They're good at that. I don't think it will be a big issue.

"I'm getting things back. Really, the place that I feel most rusty is the shooting. I think everything else feels like it's in a pretty good rhythm, I just need to get some shots to go in. It's just hard with the way it's set up. A lot of it, you try to get back in practice, but there's not a lot of practice time. So you got to do it on the fly."

Getting Hawes back to where he was at the beginning of the season is now a big key for the Sixers.

"We've really struggled offensively," Collins said. "We've had 29 games this year where we've shot under 45 percent. Last year as a team, we shot 46 percent. Before Spencer got hurt, we were shooting about 48 percent from the floor and averaging 102 points. Just his presence, the way he moves the ball and the way we like to play; without him out there, we lost a playmaker and we really haven't gotten back in sync yet. He's trying to get himself back.

"I think for Spencer, it's tempo. I told him [Monday], you can't get the 29 games back you missed. All you can do is have 14 great ones to finish. You can't look back and say what you missed and try to get it back. You can't do that. I think Spencer was trying to get it back too quickly. When he plays in a hurry is when he makes mistakes. He just has to play at the rhythm that he plays at. When he does that, he really helps us."

Contact Bob Cooney at Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. Read the Daily News' Sixers blog at

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