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News » Sixers' Young has extra work to do

Sixers' Young has extra work to do

Sixers' Young has extra work to do Less than 60 minutes before the 76ers' plane was scheduled to take off, forward Thaddeus Young was still on the court at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, working on his jump shot.

Young's teammates had left, getting ready for their flight to Detroit, where the Sixers will play the Pistons at 1 p.m. today.

Young, though, was getting his shot in shape - or at least trying to.

He knows he is struggling. He said before Friday night's game against the New Jersey Nets, a 97-94 win, that he needed to improve his pre-shot mechanics, to work on his footwork in the second before catching the ball.

Yesterday, with assistant coach Randy Ayers, Young was setting his feet smoothly, rhythmically.

Through five games, Young's numbers are down from last season, a strong sophomore year in which he averaged 15.3 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting from the floor and 34.1 percent shooting from three-point range.

This season, he has scored 13.0 points per game, shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 9.1 percent from three-point distance. He is averaging 3.6 rebounds a game - down from 5.0 - and a turnover more than he did last season.

His assists, though, are at 2.8 a game, up from 1.1.

Sixers coach Eddie Jordan isn't oblivious to Young's problems.

"He plays hard," Jordan said. "He has a good heart about helping his teammates. He's just trying to find some space, and we haven't given him the space and we haven't called his number within the offense. . . . Maybe he's hitting a bump in the road."

Jordan added: "I can see that he's pressing a little bit, frustrated a little bit."

Young said he knows the numbers will rise; they are bound to. For now, he said, he's accepting the struggling because he's not the only one doing so. His teammates also are looking for their places in Jordan's offensive and defensive schemes.

Because of the difficulties, the Sixers might leave some wondering where the team stands. The next seven days should provide some answers.

This afternoon's game is the first of five contests this week.

The Sixers are at home tomorrow against the on-fire Phoenix Suns, on the road against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday, at home against the Utah Jazz on Friday, and at the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

Through the first 10 days of the season, the Sixers have played the Eastern Conference's best, losing big to Boston, and faced its worst, squeaking by the Nets.

The Sixers are 3-2. The Pistons, missing longtime starters Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, are 2-4. Neither Hamilton, who has a sprained ankle, nor Prince, who injured his back, is expected to play this afternoon.

"This is the stretch - a true measuring stick of where we're going to be," forward Elton Brand said. "It's early in the season, and we've played championship-caliber teams and we didn't play well. Throw those out the window.

"The teams that didn't have great records in preseason and didn't have great records starting off, OK, we beat those teams. Now, these are pretty solid teams coming up."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or

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Added: November 9, 2009


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