The Other Guys: Thaddeus Young
The Indiana Pacers are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, and they are most likely headed to the playoffs. This wasn’t always a certainty though as many, including myself, thought the Pacers would not make the playoffs when Victor Oladipo went down with a season ending injury.
Nonetheless, they are fourth and have held up pretty well. They are on pace to win 50 games this season and with a team currently devoid of All-Stars, that’s an impressive feat. And that Is because of the "Other Guys".
The Pacers are a team full of balanced scorers and players who fit perfectly into their roles.
With players like Bojan Bogdonavic(team’s leading scorer), Myles Turner (league leader in blocks), and Domantas Sabonis (team’s leading rebounder) getting most of the attention, there is one player who fits into his role really well and that is Thaddeus Young.
Young may not be the flashiest or big name player, but he is very consistent and efficient. For his entire career, Young would give you between 12-15 points per game on around 50 percent shooting and this year is no different.
This season he is averaging 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 52 percent shooting from the field .
Young is leading the team in so many ways and the Pacers have benefited from it. Below is a clip of Young’s leadership and how he helps others on the team.
Defensively, Young is also chipping in as he is averaging 1.5 steals per game on a team that may very well be the best defensive team in the NBA. They are leading the league in fewest points allowed (103.9).
Offensively and defensively, Thaddeus Young is a valuable and important piece for the Pacers.
Thaddeus Young has a PER of 16.1, which is higher than the league average. Once again, he’s not performing in a way that will knock your socks off, but on this team he is a perfect fit. He is a great rebounder and he gives maximum effort each game.
The Pacers doesn’t have an All-Star scoring guard at the moment, and even when they did, Oladipo was averaging 19 points per game. They don’t have any 20 point per game scorers, but what they do have is players that excel in their roles and each individually provide the team with their specialty. Thaddues Young embodies that philosophy. He has a mid-range shot, can attack the basket, and compliments any lineup on the floor.
Whether it’s Turner or Sabonis down low, Young’s game is versatile enough to be productive anywhere and that’s what makes him special for this team. Young is a plus 4.4 when he is on the court this season.
Young may not get all the highlights, but he is a fan favorite in Indiana and they understand and appreciate what he brings to this team. The Pacers may surprise people in the playoffs and if they go far, Thaddeus Young will be a huge reason why.