In the Bonus: Sixers' Young now relying on long range

In the Bonus: Sixers' Young now relying on long range
April 4, 2014, 4:45 pm
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BOSTON — For years, Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young has been at his best when attacking teams driving towards the basket.

But this season, the 6-foot-8 forward has expanded his game to include the 3-point shot.

In fact, it has gradually become one of the more important components of his game.

Every month this season, Young has relied on the 3-point shot more than the previous month.

In October, he averaged one 3-point attempt per game. In November and December, he was up to 1.6 and 2.9 3-point attempts, respectively.

The new year arrived and Young wasn't done launching lots of 3s.

January saw him average 3.7 3s attempted per game, followed by 4.5 in February and a season-high 5.3 in March.

While this has been a career season for Young when it comes to shooting 3s, he says it has always been a part of his game even if he wasn't taking them.

“I think I was capable of it before,” Young told reporters recently. “It was just one of those things where I’ve always been a player where, when a coach needs something or asks me to do something, I go out there and do it. I fulfill a job."

Under former coach Doug Collins, Young said he was told to treat the 3-point line "like a barbed-wire fence."

“With Coach (Doug) Collins, he didn’t want me shooting a lot of 3s," Young said. "He wanted me in the paint, getting extra possessions, hustling, make open shots. He told me actually, ‘Treat the 3-point line like a barbed-wire fence.’ I didn’t like that at all, but I went out there and fulfilled the job."

Under rookie coach Brett Brown, Young said there's no restrictions on the type of shots Brown wants him to take.

 "This year, Brett said to me he wanted me to step out and shoot 3s, to put the ball on the floor, get to the basket, and do everything," Young said. "I was like, ‘Perfect. I can get back to playing how I was before Coach Collins, before Eddie Jordan.’ My first two years in the league were free-flowing.”

This season, he is shooting 31.9 percent on 3s, connecting on 83 of 260 attempts. The 260 three-pointers taken are more than he took in the last four seasons combined.

In three seasons with Collins, Young was just 8-for-34 on 3s taken.