Thaddeus Young stays positive

Posted: February 23, 2014

THADDEUS YOUNG saw the group of reporters in the locker room and as he made his entrance summoned them over.

"Come on," he said with a smile. "I know y'all want to talk."

Young doesn't hide on or off the court. Thursday's trades that sent away fellow starters Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes left him as the elder statesman of the team, and the lone remaining vet left to endure what is sure to be gut-wrenching end of the season.

"This situation, I don't know how much worse it can get, but there's a lot of great guys in this locker room who can play," he said dutifully. "Hopefully, we can just go out there and get better as a team and continue to play hard."

Now in his seventh season, all with the Sixers, Young has seen some good and a whole lot of bad. The teams have compiled a 233-300 record during his tenure under five head coaches and only one winning season. Through it all, though, Young is the stabilizing force who says all the right things and plays as hard as he can each game. But he was deprived of being dealt from this situation, a fact that he has thought about.

"I am not going to lie, a little bit," he said of feeling left out on trade day. "Certain things don't always happen in your favor or it doesn't happen the way everybody else thinks it should play out. It's been a very tough year so far, but you try to make the best of the situation."

If expectations were low to begin the season - and they were - they have gone well below sea level now as Thursday's flurry of trades has left the Sixers with an unfamiliar and undermanned group. Four players - Eric Maynor, Byron Mullens, Henry Sims and Danny Granger - may come in shortly to give coach Brett Brown a full roster to work with, but expecting positive results in the final part of this season is likely overly optimistic. Last night's 112-124 loss to the Dallas Mavericks was a bit of proof. Still, there are games to be played.

"I see an opportunity to persevere and finish out what we started," Brown said. "It's about development, it's about culture, it's about standard, it's about behavior, it's about character, it's about defense. Everybody experienced [Thursday] and [yesterday], the first wave of what we've been very transparent about since Day 1 that we are building things up and days like [Thursday] were, to a point, inevitable."

With a lineup of only eight available players, so was last night's outcome, as Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 seemingly effortless points, Shawn Marion added 22 and DeJuan Blair 18 off the bench. Those three combined to make 27 of their 35 shots from the floor.

Thaddeus Young hustled his way to 30 points, 13 boards and six assists, Michael Carter-Williams collected 25 points and six assists and Tony Wroten had 21 for the Sixers (15-41), who lost their 10th straight and 20 of past 23. Dallas improved to 33-23.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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